Category Archives: Opinion
Covid Cases Increase
January 12, 2022
Veritas Editors Shannon Gustin, Nicole Cedrone, Cameron Babcock and Hailey Christianson contributed to this report
After the winter break, and the start of the new year, COVID case numbers in the Rockland school district have risen rapidly among students and staff. On January 9, Dr. Cron released statistics of the COVID cases in our commuitiy. In total, 94 students and 34 staff members among all the schools were infected at that time. At the high school, 34 students were infected and 6 staff members tested positive.
COVID has affected many people in our community. Sophomore Cameron Babcock said, “Many classmates of mine have contracted the virus.” He went on to say, “This is the worst the virus has been at school, as it has taken classmates out of school because they have the virus, and even more because of the contacts.”
Almost every student at Rockland High School has had a firsthand experience with COVID-19, whether they had it, someone in their family had it, or someone they know had it. Shannon Gustin, a freshman shared, “From my experience about 10 to 15 friends and family members have been infected by this virus.”
Even though the virus is widespread, it hasn’t affected others. Hailey Christanson, a junior, said, “None of my family or friends or anyone I know at the moment has been infected with COVID.”
Students have different opinions on whether or not we should have gone from in-person school to remote school after the holidays. Freshman Nicole Cedrone says, “With the increase in cases and students and teachers being absent I feel as though the school should shut down and go remote for 2-4 weeks. WIth hitting record high cases, safety has to be the most important thing. If the school shuts down now we are preventing the rise in cases and ensuring the safety of others. Safety has to be the priority.”
Christanson had an opposing opinion of remote schooling, saying, “I would say the school department has done a fair job. Going back to remote should not even be in question considering that the new [Omicron] variant is less deadly and it’s almost like a cold. Most teachers are vaccinated, as well as a lot of students, meaning we should be over even having to think about going remote.”
Even if our school board wanted to go remote, they wouldn’t be able to easily. According to an article on Boston.com, Governor Charlie Baker said, “We count in-person days as school…they can use snow days until they run out of snow days, but they do need to provide their kids with 180 days of in-person education this year.” This would mean if the schools decided to go remote they would have to add in-person days at the end of the school year.
In conclusion, many students have been affected by the spike of COVID cases after the break, and with numbers rising many students had different opinions on whether we should go remote or not. But in the end, if the schools decided to go remote they would need to add more days to the school year.
At this point, in-person school is the path Rockland Public Schools will stay on. As long as everyone stays safe and takes the needed precautions, the surge in cases will flatten. But until then, we hope everyone is safe and healthy.
RHS Students Talk About the Holidays
December 21, 2021
Last Friday the Journalism class asked students in the cafeteria some Holiday related questions.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Halloween Opinions Heard at RHS
With Halloween this weekend the Journalism students went out and asked people what some of their Halloween favorites (or least favorite) things are. Take a look!
Need Something to Do Next Year? Join the Math Team!
Giovan Soares, Veritas Staff
Although many of you may not have known, earlier this year there were four monthly competitions, held on the first Thursday of every month from November to February between Rockland High School and many other towns on the South Shore. These were the Division five Math Team meets. On these four occasions the RHS Math Team faced off against Hanover, Bridgewater-Raynham, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Abington, and Whitman-Hanson.
At a math meet each school is broken up into two teams with five members on each team. Then each team from each school competes in each of the five rounds with three students each; each student may compete in no more than three of these individual rounds. Then upon the completion of these five rounds there is a short break before a team round where all five members of each team work together.
Each round, including the team round, has three questions and students have 10 minutes to answer those questions. The first question is worth one point, the second is worth two points and the third is worth three points.
This year the highest that the RHS Math Team placed was fourth in the final meet. At this meet RHS had three members competing on each team which was two less than each of the other schools had per team, yet the RHS Math Team was still able to beat the teams from East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Abington.
However, at earlier meets the RHS Math Team was less fortunate, placing seventh in the first two meets of the year and they were unable to attend the third meet. A significant cause for their low placing, and lack of placement, was a lack of students who were able to compete. Throughout its season the RHS Math Team struggled to fill its teams. Another problem is that the teams may not have more than two seniors each. This is the reason that in their second meet, even though there were six members willing and able to compete, only five of them could as five of them were seniors. There is a strong chance that the RHS Math Team will struggle with numbers again next year which would undoubtedly be a tragedy.
When asked for comment the current Math Team advisor Mrs. Mulready said, “I was disappointed this year that we didn’t have many kids, so next year I’m hoping to recruit more… This year really killed us.”
It’s important to note that the team is first and foremost about the fun and enjoyment of all its members. While there is certainly an air of competitiveness between the schools and among the members of the team, that is always put aside to make sure that each person has as much fun as possible. For example, not every student is a big fan of geometry. Luckily, each of the five rounds is about a different subject, round one is arithmetic, round two is algebra one, round three is geometry, round four is algebra two, and round five is advanced math or calculus and trigonometry for the most part. So, even for those among us who are not mathematics fanatics, there is likely at least one round in which you would enjoy competing.
Math team is also a great place to meet new people with whom you share something in common. When asked about the math team, senior John Ellard said, “Math team is great. It’s a cool place to talk about math and it’s nice to meet other students from other towns who have a similar interest.”And for those who are not interested in competing, there are special positions for alternates, who may compete in every round, however, their scores are not counted with either team. The RHS Math Team offers many options for students who are interested in giving it a try and will welcome any comer with open arms.
Math team is a fun activity for all students who are involved and it would be a great shame to see it go away. Any students who are interested in joining the team are encouraged to speak to the current advisor Mrs. Mulready about joining next year. As senior Katie Houde said, “Math team is fun and a great thing to do on a Thursday, and you get pizza.”
I joined the math team myself in my sophomore year. I attempted to join in my freshman year, but I could not figure out when the meetings were and so I was unable to. Throughout my 3 years as a member of the Math Team I have had a great time. Every meet brings a new opportunity to try my hand and each time I score a new personal record for points in a meet I’m excited. I’m really happy that I joined the math team and it gave me an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances in both my school and others.
For those of you who may be on the fence, Mrs. Mulready had a piece of advice, “[At math team meets] everyone has a good time and we get to eat pizza!”
So, even if you don’t love math, you still have a reason to take part in the team. In all seriousness, Math Team is an amazing club filled with amazing people and each of the four meets are a blast whether you come in first or last.
Good luck to the RHS Math Team next year.
Fake News Gets Real in Rockland
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
At 10:45 a.m. on Friday morning the Rockland world was shocked to see on the “The Real Rockland” Facebook page an alarming (and not sourced) post remarking how the 2019 graduation may break the long tradition of being held in the Veterans’ Memorial Stadium, and instead may have to be held inside RHS.
The “news” spread rapidly through “The Real Rockland’s” Facebook community as well as the senior class. The post sourced this breaking information to a “little birdie” who was not the poster’s child, and instead to a member of the senior class who had spoken to Principal John Harrison. However, regarding the “little birdie” who had relayed the information to the Facebook poster, Principal Harrison confirmed to the Veritas, “No student talked to me.” He also said, “No student contacted me, no parent called or emailed” to verify the validity of the rumor after it had been posted.
One of 55 comments to the original post, citing the “fake news” in the post, referred to a press release from Interim Town Administrator, Marcia Birmingham sent to the media that states, “The project (the stadium) is expected to be completed in the springtime, in time for Rockland High School’s graduation ceremony May 31.” But responses to that comment said that “expected to be” is not a confident reassurance for its completion in time.
Realizing that social media is not the place to get the facts, the Veritas contacted Park Department Superintendent, Peter Ewell and Commissioners of the Park Department, Richard Furlong and Joe Reis who helped the Veritas to dispel the rumors.
Mr. Ewell, in response to the Veritas’ inquiry and after all the buzz on Friday, claimed his phone had been “blowing up” from citizens reaching out frantically about the post. In response he assured, “Yes, the stadium will be ready. We had a meeting with the owner of CSI company yesterday and told him no if’s, and’s, or but’s, and he assured us no worries. It [the stadium] will be ready before graduation!!!!”
Additionally, Mr. Furlong in his email response to our question said, “Work is going to start up again next week.” He added that weather will play a role in the project.
In his response, Mr. Reis said that he wanted to “put the rumors to bed.” He explained, “The company will be on site starting Monday the 18th to start finishing the work. Game plan is to get the top of the stadium done first waterproof, paint and finish the top side and the backside.” He too indicated that the work is weather related, saying, “Let’s hope for good weather.”
Once again to reassure the Rockland community, Park Superintendent Ewell’s reply indicates that the stadium will be ready for the May 31 Class of 2019 Graduation “no if’s, and’s, or but’s.”
Rudolph: Holiday Cheer and Mixed Messages?
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
Since 1964, the cartoon film, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” has played in homes across America during the holiday season. Also, the classic song that goes by the same title has been ingrained in the holiday memories of millions since 1949. However, in this holiday season, the movie’s messages and plot have been put under a microscope and are facing some scrutiny.
Recently, Lucas Mikelionis of Fox News wrote a report that criticizes a video published on the Huffington Post website. The video claims the holiday classic promotes bigotry and sexism. It also claims that Santa in the story is homophobic and racist. The example of sexism occurs when Rudolph’s mom is told she can’t go on the search for Rudolph after he goes missing. “No, this is man’s work,” she is told.
Others suggest that the cartoon is problematic due to Rudolph’s father being verbally abusive by forcing his son to wear a fake nose. Also, many say that bullying is condoned in the popular song’s lyrics, “All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names / They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”
On the other side of the debate, many assert how in the cartoon, the characters, who are in the wrong, end up learning from their actions, teaching them and the viewers valuable lessons.
But as pointed out in the Fox News article, many are taking offense to the “perceived bigotry” the Huffington Post and others find in this classic children’s Christmas film.
Even the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., responded to the backlash on this movie stating, “Liberalism is a disease.” Additionally, “The View”’s Whoopi Goldberg concluded that people are purposely seeking issues in the film.
The film’s original cast member, Corinne Conley who voiced “Dolly For Sue,” recently said in an interview with TMZ that the film is more relevant now than ever. Conley claims that due to the increase in bullying incidents, Rudolph helps emphasize the effects of bullying and in the end teaches a lesson to bulliers.
Rockland High School students and teachers have various opinions about the “Rudolph debate.”
Mathematics department head Steven Casagrande defended the Christmas classic saying that the story is simply about “Rudolph overcoming a situation.”
Similarly, sophomore Kaitlin Taft said, “It’s not supporting bullying; it’s supporting getting over bullying.” She added, “They’re not saying bullying is what makes him special; he was special on his own in the first place.”
On the other hand, freshman Helena Nutile argues the story does promote bullying. “All the other reindeer bully poor little Rudolph and even though it does show that being bullied proves to make you stronger, it still promotes it.”
Family and consumer science teacher, Adrienne Donovan meets the two opinions somewhere in the middle explaining her concerns for her own sons, and the possibility of their being bullied.
Mrs. Donovan believes that the film does portray an environment of bullying, yet says, … “in the end things do turn around.”
She said, “It’s a rough thing to watch – the teasing. I remember watching it and feeling very bad for Rudolph when everyone was laughing at him, so I get it.”
Mrs. Donovan does allow her children to watch the cartoon with the contingency of discussing the predicament Rudolph is in, and asking, “How do you think Rudolph felt?”
She concludes with an optimistic view. “I think it’s really great that as a culture, as a society we have become more aware of these situations.”
The video below asks students and staff about the “Rudolph” controversy and the additional controversy regarding the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It was created by the Journalism class.
RHS Theatre Guild performs musical Grease
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Web Editor
On Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at the RHS auditorium 7 pm Rockland High Schools Theatre Guild performed the musical Grease.
The cast and crew have been preparing for the show since October along side directors, Joanne White and Kendra Donovan. Sophie McLellan played the leading role of Sandy Dumbrowski with Ryan Struzziery playing leading man, Danny Zuko.
By the roar of RHS the days following the production it is safe to say that the production was a success. The cast and crew were pleased with the oucome as well as the directors. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the high energy production including fun filled songs and choreography by the award winning musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.