Opinion: WHS needs better guest speakers

Miss Kansas speaks to WHS students during an assembly about seat belt safety. While seat belt safety is important, writer Kendyl Bolinder argues that hearing about the same issues each year does little to educate students.

Speakers should address issues important to students

“Don’t drink and drive.” “Stay drug free.” These are things that high school students are constantly reminded of.

The speakers who come to Wabaunsee are repetitive, and several have the same general message. We should be bringing in better speakers that will be more beneficial for the students.

Speakers are a waste of time for some students. They are missing advisor base and class time to attend mandatory presentations, even though they often have no interest in what the presenters are teaching.

Sophomore Karlee Feyh said, “I think the speakers we’ve had this year are good to hear, but after you hear the same stuff over and over, you tend to stop paying attention. A solution would be to expand the range of topics. We need to have speakers who have a way of reaching students that is more fun than just lecturing.”

There are so many speakers with important platforms that are relevant to high school students today. WHS needs to expand its speaker selection and the topics they cover.

There are things that will impact teens more than lectures about seat belt use and drugs — topics they are already fairly educated on. One great topic is depression and suicide. An estimated 3.1 million teens have had a major depressive episode in the last year. As a student body, students at Wabaunsee high have received little education about this topic, or the things that go hand in hand with it, such as anxiety/mental disorders, bullying, human trafficking, healthy relationships, academic struggles or social media use.

A small group of students traveled to Washburn rural high school earlier this school year to witness a speech by Kevin Hines, who survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. He told the distressing story of his life. He talked about all the people he had lost to suicide, one being his first psychiatrist. He spoke about his struggles with bipolar disorder, his time in psychiatric hospitals and his failed suicide attempt. He reminded people that they they can get through it, and encouraged them to “Be Here Tomorrow.” He was very relatable and had a way of interacting with students that was both fun and inspiring.

Sophomore Ryleigh Jones, who attended the presentation, said “He communicated with us in a way we would understand, rather than just slides on a PowerPoint. His topic was the same as many other speakers, but he stood out. He has been through it all since he was born. He wanted to make kids understand there’s always another option.”

Wabaunsee should be bringing in speakers who will make an impact on students. We shouldn’t select speakers based on the fact that they’ve been here before, or that they don’t cost much. We should put in the time and money to host people who will truly make a difference in our schools.

Kendyl Bolinder, @BolinderKendyl

Editorial: School can address Vaping issue without punishing all students

Vaping is increasingly becoming a problem at WHS.

Its no secret that certain students abuse their privileges and freedoms during school hours, for example, vaping in bathrooms and locker rooms. We recognize the school’s reasoning and understand that vaping is an issue, and the problem at school has decreased after principal Jan Hutley outlined the consequences in class meetings.

While we agree that WHS should work to prevent vaping, we don’t agree with the way it has been handled during AB.

Most of the problems of vaping along with students not checking in with teachers has occurred during advisor base. AB is supposed to be a time to make teachers available to students for extra help. It’s also the time set aside for extra things such as club meetings, ZAP or school assemblies. In a sense, it is the student’s time to get caught up academically and participate in a number of other activities throughout the school.

With the new problems, recent restrictions on traveling to different classrooms during AB have caused an uproar in the student body. Students now have to obtain a signed pass from the teacher they wish to visit prior to AB and have it signed by their teacher. This creates difficulty because after running around the school to get a pass and talk to teachers it leaves very little time to actually work on our homework. Teachers also have little time to talk to us for help when they are continuously filling out the passes and answering phone calls from students who wish to travel to their classroom.

A better way to go about this situation would be to enforce the QR code sign-out sheet that we already have implemented. This method was only faulty because it wasn’t being enforced by certain AB teachers. If problems with students still arise during AB, a good way to handle it would simply be to take the specific person’s AB rights away, rather than the entire student body.

The editorial is the opinion of the Charger staff. Send letters to the editor to  whscharger@gmail.com.

Opinion|Twenty One Pilots album a step forward

Emma Frey


The highly anticipated fifth studio album, Trench, from Twenty One Pilots was released October 5th following the band’s year-long hiatus.

Everyone either loves this band or loves to hate them. Eighth grade emo Emma would be dying inside right now, but as for sophomore Emma, I kind of thought that Twenty One Pilots was a phase for me. I knew the album was coming, but I wasn’t really excited until it actually dropped.

This is definitely a different album for the band. While it includes a few thought-provoking and in-depth songs, true to their nature, it also features some fun songs that showcase the cryptic storyline behind Trench. Songs like “Neon Gravestones,” “Legend” and “Smithereens” seem to have a more personal meaning to lead singer, Tyler Joseph. These include his opinions on how the media deals with suicide, a song about his late grandfather, and a song that tells of the extreme lengths he would go to to protect his wife, respectively. These are my favorite types of songs because you can truly tell how someone feels and what they’re going through and can apply them to yourself.

Conversely, songs like “Bandito”, “Leave the City” and “Nico and the Niners” tell the story of Clancy, a fictional character modeled from Tyler, and his escape from Dema, a fictional city that is meant to represent Tyler’s fears and anxieties that hold him back.

Overall, I was kind of apprehensive for the release of the album. I was worried that Twenty One Pilots would become a sell-out band that only tried to cater to a certain demographic, (eighth grade emo girls, i.e. Emma two years ago) but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few songs I actually liked, my favorite being “Chlorine.” My favorite line is “Venom on my tongue, dependent at times; poisonous vibrations; help my body run… the moment is medical” because it shows how chlorine is a poison and it will kill you, but it’s also used as a cleaning agent. This analogy relates to Tyler in the sense of music. It’s cleansing for him to write his feelings and opinions down in a constructive way, but it’s still damaging to him to have to look at those thoughts written down and sing them over and over again when he’d rather just forget. That’s a pretty relatable topic for most people. It’s always nice to express how you feel but it’s sort of like beating a dead horse when you can’t ever get it off of your mind.

Although their style of music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I definitely believe that anyone and everyone can find at least one song that they can relate to or enjoy from Twenty One Pilots.

Music tends to be a common outlet for people, and I’m no exception. Everyone should definitely check out Trench or some of the band’s older albums and give them a try.

Opinion |Haunted houses provide great fun

Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

Working in a haunted house is by far the best thing a person can do in October.

For the past six years, I have volunteered to work at Celebration’s Haunted Opera House in Wamego during the entire month of October. All profit from ticket sales goes directly toward restoring the building that holds the haunted house, previously the Leach Opera House.

Celebration’s Haunted Opera House, located at 5th and Elm in Wamego, opens every Saturday in October 7-10:30pm. Tickets are $10, but advanced tickets can be purchased from any member of the haunted house for $7. Additional information can be found at hauntedoperahouse.com.

This experience has been one of my favorite by far, but the amount of work that goes into a haunted house can be a bit more than most people might think. Every year the walls of the basement get torn down and we start building the layout of the haunted house from scratch. Most items and supplies we use are recycled from past years or transformed into something new. The only funding we get is from ticket sales from the previous years, so we spend only where we see it necessary.

One downfall of working in a haunted house is that every Saturday night in October is booked, however in my opinion it is entirely worth it. It may seem barbaric, but scaring people is fun, even more so when they are people I know. Working in the haunted house has become somewhat of a hobby for my family.

Another thing that makes working in a haunted house interesting is that you develop a sixth sense when it comes to scaring people. Last year our haunted house crew took a trip to Zombie Toxin in Junction City. This was my first time going through a “real” haunted house. I have to admit that I was not impressed with the scare level, but I attribute most of it to the fact that—even though I had never been before—I knew where the scares would happen.

From my experience working in a haunted house, I start to notice small details of a room such as places where lighting is different or places where there could be something or someone concealed. As I walked through Zombie Toxin I continually had my head on a swivel looking for the next scare and nine times out of ten I was able to spot something before it happened. Regardless, I was still impressed with the overall layout and vibe of Zombie Toxin.

While Zombie toxin was not what I expected, I still enjoy working in our haunted house. Despite having long weekends in October it is totally worth it, and nothing beats the satisfaction of scaring people you know. I would love to see anyone who can come at the haunted house any Saturday this month. If you have any questions about the haunted house or wish to buy tickets, don’t hesitate to reach me at hannahmumpower@usd329.com.

Area Haunted Houses

Zombie Toxin in Junction City is one of the more popular haunted houses in Kansas. It opens every Friday and Saturday in October 7:30-11:30 p.m. as well as Thursday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 31. Regular admission is $18 per person and a Speed Pass is $25. For more information visit zombietoxin.com.

Three more popular haunted houses include The Beast, Edge of Hell, and Macabre Cinema Haunted Attraction located in Kansas City, Missouri. All three are owned by Full Moon Productions. Single tickets for each attraction start at $27. They also sell package deals for entrance into multiple houses. Opening times vary. Visit fullmoonprod.com for information.

Another haunted attraction closer to home is the Topeka Haunted Woods. The Haunted Woods is a 1/2 mile trail filled with haunting creatures. Cost of entry to the trail is $20 per person. Also offered is Zombie Laser Tag at $10 per person. Topeka Haunted Woods is open every Friday and Saturday in October from 8-11pm. For more information visit topekahauntedwoods.com.

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