Editorial: School Shootings Must End

School is a place for education and community. It’s here that students are supposed to feel comfortable and safe. Four of the deadliest mass shootings in America have been at schools, including the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 and wounded 15 a little more than two weeks ago. Unfortunately, schools have became common targets for such horrendous violence, as shown by the 18 school shootings so far this year. With our news feeds so flooded by these stories, young people have become aware of the reality that is gun violence.

We are shocked and appalled by school shootings, not only because of their extreme violence, but also because these shootings are so common that we seem to have become numb to the violence. That numbness is a national crisis just as serious as the violence, and we offer our full support to the students in Florida who are calling for change in the nation’s gun laws.

We agree that Northwood is generally a safe environment. However, every  school shooting is a particularly personal violation for us, even when the assault is 1,500 miles away. We shudder to think of such bloodshed in our sacred spaces, such as in front of the fireplace in the living room during flex, in the auditorium during school meeting, or in the dining hall at lunch. We feel vulnerable when we think about the possibility of an active shooter on our campus.

As the mass murder continues to bring attention to national gun legislation, we must take a serious look at Northwood’s lack of preparation in the event of an attack. Some seniors recall one drill about 4 years ago in which the school bell was rung to signal everyone to run into the woods. There have been no drills since then. Our school currently does not have an emergency plan or drills to train students and staff on what to do in the event of a mass shooter or other incident that may threaten student lives, and we call on the school to develop one promptly. Northwood is in urgent need to improve preparation for these events in order to keep students and staff safe from a possible school shooting. We hope to never need to execute such an emergency plan, but having one will bring us some comfort, because contemplating a mass shooting without one is terrifying. We further call on the school to create an emergency communication system, probably using SMS messages, that will notify the school community, including parents, of a crisis, give instructions, and the eventual all-clear.

While we support many efforts to make schools safer, we disapprove of the idea to weaponize schools and have grave concerns about President Trump’s call to arm one in five teachers. We think that’s a terrible idea. We are also troubled by the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s insistence that the widespread availability of guns in the United States has nothing to do with gun violence. This, coupled with the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is prohibited from conducting research on gun violence in the United States, stunts our ability to effectively deal with the problem.

We support the petition urging President Trump and members of Congress to pass legislation that bans the sale of assault weapons, prohibits the sale of high-capacity magazines, and closes the loophole in our background check law. If you agree with the petition, please sign it to show your support. We also stand with Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior Emma Gonzalez who famously said at a rally following the shooting:

Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers nowadays, saying that all we are is self-involved and trend-obsessed, and hushing us into submission when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation? We are prepared to call BS!

Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA, telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this: We call BS!

They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence: We call BS!

They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun: We call BS!

They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars: We call BS!

They say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred: We call BS!

That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works: We call BS!

We urge the community to educate itself about these incidents and learn more about gun violence in America and other countries. Additionally, we encourage all who are able attend the March on Washington on March 24th to show their support for the victims and send a message to the world. Register to vote. If you are not 18, but will be 18 on election day, you can still register now.  Write to or call your elected officials to add your voice to the national discussion. Please offer your support for those who need it, and do your best to help prevent this tragedy from happening again.


Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth on Twitter

February 1926. That was when Historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week.” This resulted in the subsequent creation of the beloved National Black History Month. Since it is the age of technology’s reign, Twitter celebrated the opening of this month with a few hashtags. [Read more…]

Spacey Scandal: Don’t Let Him Hide Behind the Rainbow Flag

Guest Opinion by Olivia Skriloff’18


Kevin Spacey. Photo: Wikipedia.

The LGBTQ+ community is almost always happy to have another celebrity in our ranks. We are desperate for representation, because how the media portrays our community is how the general public sees us. On top of that, in the past month, a slew of sexual assault allegations have been exposing various Hollywood bigwigs as predators.

On October 29th in an interview with BuzzFeed News Anthony Rapp, known for being on the original cast of RENT and more recently on Star Trek: Discovery, Alleged that Kevin Spacey most famously known as Francis Underwood on Netflix’s hit series: House of Cards “invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.” This allegation is a big deal because on top of this being sexual assault Rapp was also under age. [Read more…]

Getting Comfortable with Myself


Aude-Marie is a junior and the editor-in-chief of The Mirror.

When I was a child, like most young girls, I played with Barbie dolls. My Barbies had a wide range of jobs varying from astronaut to doctor. Yet all my Barbie dolls were Caucasian or mixed. I had no black dolls because they didn’t sell any in my home town in Ivory Coast.

Having no toys that match my complexion might seem minor, but it had big repercussions on how I viewed myself. It was no surprise when, at age eight, I asked my mother if I could use hair relaxers so I could straighten my hair. My pre-teen role models, including Beyoncé, my grandmother, and my mother, all had straight hair, just like Barbie’s. The popular girls at school also had straight hair. I felt like an anomaly with my natural hair. [Read more…]

Opinion: Policy on Student Center Unfair


Sabryna Strack ’17

The student center is a place where students spend their free time. It is equipped with a ping-pong table, pool table, foosball table, and multiple televisions. A favored way to spend free time at Northwood is by gathering in the student center with friends and watching a movie. [Read more…]

Dear Mr. President: Here’s What I Think of Your Wall

Dear President Trump:


Aude-Marie Alexandra ’18

Since you can’t see the light, I’ve decided to let you know why your wall is a bad idea. Where to start? The wall was estimated to cost at least $25 billion. If the United states has $25 billion to spare, that money is enough to build 1,500 new elementary schools, send more than 300,000 people to college, or install renewable energy to power more than 5 million homes. But instead of using that money to help hard working American families and help the country move forward, you decided to build a wall to keep immigrants out. [Read more…]

My Opinion: Update Dress Code or Require Uniforms


Sabryna Strack ’17

For all four years that I have been at this school, confusion has surrounded dress code from both male and female points of view. The teachers believe that students defy dress code because we are teenagers who refuse to follow the rules, and the students believe that the teachers are too strict with their expectations of how students should dress. “If I look presentable and am not offending anyone with my attire, why should I have to wear a collared shirt?” remarked one student. [Read more…]

Letter: Article About Outdoor Skating Rink Brings Back Memories

To the Editor:

lteWhat a delight it was to read this article (“Outdoor Skating Rink on Campus“). It takes me back to the House Party of 1960 which was held in February. I was the head of the house party that year and I decided to use the old rink behind the gym. With a few volunteers, we managed to spray enough water onto the surface to be able to skate for a couple of days during the party. If you look at the photos of the party in the 1960 Epitome, you will see the results….I think, as I don’t have the book with me at the moment. I think that was the last time it was ever used as a rink but am not sure.

On another note, could you please have a “letters to the editor” column on site? It would be wonderful to see what other alumni are thinking. Glad to see The Mirror back.

– Mr. Barton Green ’60

Ed. Note: Thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Green. We’ve added a Letters to the Editor section, and yours is the first letter in The Mirror.

Junior Hockey: Too Many Options?

Junior hockey is a world of its own. To those who understand it and live it, it is the norm. To those outside of the hockey world, it is a strange idea that is difficult to make sense of. This world is also constantly changing. There has been an explosion of junior leagues in the past several years. The top junior leagues such as the USHL, NAHL, and USPHL Premier are leagues that produce a lot of NCAA Division I and top Division III players. The problem with junior hockey nowadays is that there have been so many leagues formed that almost anybody can play “junior hockey.” Junior hockey leagues used to be for high-level college-prospect players that needed a couple years to round out their game before playing in college. Now with the addition of so many leagues that talent pool has been watered down. [Read more…]

Opinion: Northwood’s Dress Code is Unfair

Matthew Petizian ‘17


Matthew Petizian ’17 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

At Northwood School,during the class day and to meals students are required to dress in a manner conforming to a dress code. The dress code, issued by the Northwood administration, assures that students are appropriately dressed in a manner that is conducive to a functional academic environment.  Male and female students have their respective dress codes that they need to follow. However, there is much controversy about how differently the dress code is enforced for male and female students. It seems that female students have more leniency than male students when it comes to class dress, and many of the male students think this is unfair. [Read more…]

The Mirror was established in 1927
© 2015 by the Staff of The Mirror
The Mirror is funded by gifts to the Northwood Fund. Thank you.

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