Issue 6 February 2011


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Issue 6 February 2011

  1. 1. theECHOES Scottsbluff High School | Feb. 10, 2011 | Volume 94 | Issue 6 The CANCER that no one wants to discuss In a world of pink ribbons and “Keep a Breast” bracelets, SHS teacher Justin Gipe and senior Alec Rojas have struggled with an oft-forgotten disease that preys on males: testicular cancer | pg. 4 [ ] NE State Sen. Mark Christensen introduces Legislative Bill 516 that allows school employees to carry handguns on campuses | pg. 3 Who doesn’t love CAKE? Entertainment writer Victoria Bravo isn’t eating up the group latest release - check out her review of Cake’s latest album | pg. 13 Boys’ and girls’ swimming teams look to continue decade-long GNAC winning streak | pg. 15
  2. 2. One night, one bad decision, one BIG headache ed in myself.” While out of practice, the three Though the athletes were in some athletes went to the YMCA to work major trouble, they were lucky to out so they would not fall behind receive the punishment they did. the rest of the team. The three athletes all had the same When they got back to practicing court punishment of a $100 fine and with the team many people, includ- had to go through diversion class, ing their own teammates, called which includes 30 hours of commu- them selfish for what they did, and nity service. claimed that they weren’t thinking The maximum punishment for an of everyone when they went to thatstory by really don’t want to get in trouble,” MIP in the state of Nebraska is a fine party.RYAN MEISTER | news writer Carl* said. of $500 and three months of imprison- “I believe I was being selfish Saturday night three varsity ath- That night those three athletes and ment with no chance of probation. and I should have thought of all theletes without anything better to do all the person driving all received a cita- In terms of the school, the pun- other people instead of just doinggot together and did what many teens tion for minor in possession (MIP). ishment and embarrassment was something to have fun,” Carl across the nation, went to a party They are not alone in their ex- different. All three of the athletes regret theat a friend’s house. perimentation with alcohol, as nearly They all had to tell their coach decisions they made that night. Once there, they made the mistake 42% of high school students in 2009 what had happened and chose to face “The next day was just full ofof drinking alcohol and at that mo- reported using some form of alcohol. the coache as a group. regret and I was very disappointedment, their lives were flipped upside While, 28% of those reported riding “I felt horribly disappointed in in myself, also I was afraid of thedown. with a drunk driver. myself when I told my coach about kind of punishments I would be The three teammates left the party “I honestly had no idea that I was what had happened and he was very facing from everyone. I know I’min a car with an intoxicated driver getting in the car with an intoxicated disappointed also,” Carl said. not going to do that again for a longand were pulled over for the minor driver,” Carl said. Then they were subject to the au- time,” Carl said.offense of having fog lights on within But for Carl, the next day would be thority of the school handbook, theycity limits. worse, “I didn’t receive any punish- all received one week out of practice * name changed “All I could think about when we ment from my parents but I was filled and couldn’t compete in the next two Source: sheets/underage-drinking.htmwere getting pulled over was, I just with regret and was very disappoint- events. Another year, a new cause, a new concertFor fighting against child sex slavery Human trafficking is estimated to be the second largest illegal money- could be told, and her number repre- sents the millions enslaved. making syndicate in the world. Statis- The Love146 concert will havestory by tics estimate that two children are sold music like the concert last year asSCOUT WILSON | news editor every minute. (Source: well as anyone volunteering to do an “All of the girls wore red dresses Love146 was started in 2002 when entertainment. Morgan is also goingwith a number pinned to their dress the co-founders travelled to South to try to get a speaker from Love146for identification. East Asia on an exploratory trip to de- to talk about the issue. They sat, blankly watching car- termine how they could serve in the To raise money there will be t-toons on TV. They were vacant, shells fight against child sex trafficking. shirts on sale, donation jars, and theof what a child should be. In one experience, a couple of the admission fee. The money raised will There was no light in their eyes, co-founders were taken undercover be put into a school fund, which willno life left. Their light had been taken with investigators to a brothel, where be the donation fund and then trans-from them. These children… raped they witnessed children being sold for ferred electronically to the Love146each night… seven, ten, fifteen times sex. This was the experience that gave organization.every night. Love146 its name. The money helps efforts to stop They were so young. Thirteen, Of the children who were watching child sex slavery and sex traffickingeleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow cartoons, one wasn’t staring at the TV recovery and rehabilitation back intocovered their faces with nothingness,” but looking directly at one of the co- society.– Rob Morris, President and Co-founder founders. The number tagged to her The concert will be on April 19 andof Love146 illustrating the experience that red dress was 146, she still had fight hopefully it will be as successful asled to the fight against child sex slavery. in her, she still had life in her eyes. the Haiti Relief concert. The compelling story of how the The brothel they visited was in an On it says, “Love is Photo from Love146.orgorganization was founded is why ongoing undercover investigation and in our name, because it is our moti-senior Russel Morgan has taken up introduction of the Love146 organiza- evidence had to be collected for a raid, vating drive to end child sex slaverythe cause and is organizing a concert tion to Morgan by a close friend, has and the co-founders were unable to and exploitation. We believe love toto raise money as well as awareness prompted another fundraiser concert. immediately respond to situation. be the foundation of real, sustainablefor the issue. “It’s a problem that not a lot of Sometime later, there was a raid change. Last year’s Haiti Relief concert people know about and people tend and the children were rescued, all Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Justicebrought light to the catastrophe to our to think small high schools aren’t seen except the girl with the number 146. at its best is love correcting everythingcommunity and provided support- as making a global impact, but they There was no way in knowing what that stands against love.’ We hold thaters the opportunity to help and send can,” Morgan said. happened to her, but she will be to be true. Love Protects. Love De-money to the people of Haiti. Child sex trafficking is nothing remembered. fends. Love Restores. Love Empow- The success of last year’s fund- new, it is a widely overlooked issue The number 146 represents why ers. – We are Love146.”2 | NEWS raiser concert and the that needs addressing. the organization started, so her story
  3. 3. Armed: A License to Protect The bill that could bring concealed handguns to schoolsstory by completing a Nebraska State Patrol schools any safer? officers might be and that situationsSCOUT WILSON | news editor handgun training and safety course “I am opposed to the bill and I could be exacerbated by the presence April 20, 1999. April 26, 2007. Jan. as well as complying to any local laws don’t think arming ourselves is a of weapons. “5, 2011. pertaining to the purchase, owner- solution to a problem,” Principal Rick On Feb. 1, Superintendent Miles All these dates have something ship, transportation, and possession Porter said. and twenty-four others were trainedin common: they are all dates of in emergency response team pro-school shootings across the nation. There are things we can do to make schools cedures and how schools that have practices in place can be as proac- Columbine, the Virginia TechShooting and the shooting that safer, but I believe carrying weapons, except tive and appropriately reactive when situations occur.happened right here in Nebraska at ”Omaha’s Millard South High School in the most unique circumstances, would not Situations such as a gunman in the school to a hazardous trainall were and are remembered ashorrible days across the nation. The tragedy that took place at make a difference. heading for town will be played out and proper ways to deal withMillard South in Omaha has had the situations will instructed.many thinking about the safety of -Superintendent Rick Miles On April 20, 1999 the Colum-students at school, including Sena- bine shooting took place and is stilltor Mark Christensen of Imperial. an incident vivid in our minds. For Recently, Sen. Christensen intro- of handguns. Superintendent Rick Miles doesn’t Superintendent Miles this incidentduced Legislative Bill 516 (LB516) The bill states that any public support the bill and believes it had more impact, then for others, aswhich would allow for designated ad- educational institution may, upon wouldn’t make schools safer in most he was a Principal at a neighboringministrators, security personnel, and two-thirds vote of its governing body, instances. Middle School when it took place.teachers to carry concealed handguns which would be the district school “There are things we can do to This incident has impacted howon school campuses. board, authorize its staff to carry con- make schools safer, but I believe car- Superintendent Miles approaches his The bill is only in the proposal cealed handguns. rying weapons, except in the most job as an administrator.stage of legislature and has yet to be In addition, the approval of such unique circumstances, would not “It’s made safety a main priorityvoted on. a policy would require written notice make a difference,” Miles said. for me, and even had there been a gun According to LB516 administra- be given to all students and parents or This bill causes some concerns for in the school at the time in some-tors, security personnel, and teach- guardians of each student to inform Superintendent Miles, who points body’s possession, it wouldn’t haveers would have to comply with them of the concealed handgun out that school administrators and changed the outcome,” Miles said. |3any requirements of the Concealed policy. educators are not trained the sameHandgun Permit Act. This would be But, would this policy really make way law enforcement and security NEWS
  4. 4. u The nmentionable cancer No one is comfortable talking about testicular cancer, but one teacher & one student had no choicestory by the diagnosis was a shock. Gipe said. cured today.Russell MoRgan | entertainment editor Testicular cancer has also affected Although Gipe only had two days Rojas was also fortunate because senior Alec Rojas. from diagnosis to surgery, he took the cancerous growth was found to be Cancer is an equal opportunity “My family was scared because disease head on. benign.disease. my grandma suffered from cancer,” “After the doctor told me I had “I had the cancerous testicle re- There are almost 200 types of the Rojas said. “But I was pretty relaxed cancer, I just said, ‘OK, let’s get it moved,” Rojas said. “And I was backdisease a person can contract; over about it. I just wanted to get it taken taken care of’,” Gipe said. I had great in school two weeks later.”500,000 people die from cancer every care of.” support from family, friends, and stu- Their battles with testicular canceryear in the United States alone. Rojas discovered he had a cancer- dents. I was ready to take care of it.” have left Gipe and Rojas with more As a society we have come to ous growth when he experienced Following his surgery on Thurs- than just surgical scars.terms with almost every one of the extreme pain in his groin area. day, Feb. 26, he was back at school the Gipe still experiences some symp-200 types. toms from the disease The examples are endless. and from the chemo- Pink is the national sym- YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT... CHeCK therapy. He chooses,bol of breast cancer aware- 3 however, not to focus onness. Upon reaching puberty, all men should the negatives. Each year, millions of dol- conduct a monthly testicular self-exam and ask “I want to do more tolars are raised for St. Jude’s promote the fight against your doctor during a yearlyResearch center to combatchildhood leukemia. And in every personal YOUrSeLf physical to perform one as well. this disease,” Gipe said. “I tell athletes and stu- dents that I see every dayconversation, mention of the Look for a Find the that this is a serious issuedisease is met with voices The best time lump about the epididymis, the that needs to be detected 3 3 3hushed with sympathy, con- to self-exam is size of a pea on soft, tube-like early. It’s the leadingcerned words, and promises after a warm bath the front or the structure behind type of cancer in youngof prayer. or shower when side testicle. It the testicle that to middle aged males However, not all cancers the scrotal skin is may or may not collects and car- and not enough peopleare created equal. relaxed. be painful. ries sperm. know that.” There is one type for Examine each Look for any Not enough peoplewhich we all remain silent: testicle gently with changes in size, know that if this cancer, 3 3testicular cancer. both hands by shape or texture. Re- which is found mainly In the early spring of rolling the testicle member its normal in males in their 20’s and2009, 32-year old vocational between the thumb for one testicle to be 30’s, is detected early;business teacher Justin Gipe slightly larger. it has one of the high- and forefingers.noticed some physical symp- est curable rates of alltoms he had never experi- cancers.enced before. This type of cancer The primary symptom was a The most common symptom of following Monday. can’t be something people should besensitivity in his nipples that made testicular cancer is a painless lump on With the source of the cancer re- hesitant to talk about because in asomething as simple as putting on his a testicle. moved, the next step was the removal school of 800 plus students, at leastshirt painful. In some cases the lump is un- of the infected lymph nodes in his one male from each grade will de- After two unsuccessful trips to comfortable, but severe pain is rare. stomach. velop testicular cancer in his lifetime.the doctor, a third trip provided the Sometimes the testicle may be en- “My next surgery was on March “I was lucky to find the canceranswer. larged or swollen without a lump. 26,” Gipe said. “That was an inten- in such an early stage,” Rojas said. Gipe was diagnosed with testicular Men with testicular cancer may sive surgery. I left school the 25th of “Guys need to get checked out at leastcancer. also have a heavy or aching feeling in March and I was in the hospital seven once a year. It’s a fast growing cancer, “I was diagnosed with stage 2 the lower belly or scrotum. days after the surgery.” and not everyone catches it in time.”testicular cancer on Feb. 24, 2009,” If the cancer is not found in its The road to recovery was not It is a disease that must be detectedGipe said. “I’d been having strange early stages, more symptoms will complete. early because it can be defeated. Justsymptoms and pains for a while. I appear. Advanced testicular cancer “I didn’t return back to school for ask Gipe, who went through a fightwent and got it checked out, and at can reach lymph nodes in the stomach another seven days after getting out for his life, and came out a strongerfirst the doctors didn’t think much of and cause stomach and back pain. of the hospital,” Gipe said. I still had Then it came to the point where I From there, the cancer may reach varying symptoms, but they weren’t The large surgical scar down hiscould barely walk and I had a second the lungs and even the brain. much and my hair grew back from lower torso carries an emotional story,doctor take a look. That doctor sent Fortunately, Gipe’s cancer was not the chemotherapy by the next school but it is not his daily reminder of theme to the urologist at the hospital and as advanced. year.” adversity he conquered.that’s where we found my cancer.” “I went in and got checked on Feb. Not all cases of a particular cancer That would be the yellow Live4| With no history of 24 and I had surgery to remove my are the same. Gipe was fortunate his strong bracelet on his right wrist – FEATUREcancer in his family, cancerous testicle two days later,” cancer was discovered early and he is the bracelet he never takes off.
  5. 5. Guess who’s BACK?After a half year in China, Vice Principal Matt Huck has returned with an appreciation for his family and American education fees are about one-third of the par- openly everystory byMEGHAN PRITCHARD | feature editor ent’s salary, which puts a lot of weight day for the on the value of education in the fam- hard work Matthew Huck, the disciplinary ily. she did.principal, lived in Xi’an, China with Teachers are held in such high “Heidihis family to set-up a teacher ex- regard that when a teacher enters was alwayschange program. The five months he the classroom, all students must rise. supermomwas there he put together a two week When a teacher calls on a student they and super-student exchange program for less must stand and answer the teacher wife,” Mr.than $1,000. It set up a sister school with their title “laoshi” (teacher). Huck said.that would collaborate with SHS. Mr. Huck’s two sons, Jake, 5, and “She always An English teacher from SHS Kade, 4, attended the best Chinese had a greatwould go to China to teach English schools and were fully immersed in attitude andwhile they would send a Chinese the culture. “My boys did very well kept our fam-teacher to teach our school Mandarin in their schooling and probably know ily strong.”Chinese. Mr. Huck already has a few more Chinese than I do,” Mr. Huck The biggest job Heidi had was other activities.teachers chosen but has to wait for said. walking the boys to school every day. The culture of America and Chinathe government to allow the exchange Mr. Huck and his family lived They went to school from 8-11:40 am are completely different.program. During this time in China, Mr.Huck worked at Xi’an Jiaotong Uni-versity’s (XJTU) Affiliated MiddleSchool of 2,000 student enrollment,which is equivalent to a high schoolin America. He taught a staff develop- ” in an International Medical Student Complex of Jaiotong University. Having a family of five and living in a student dorm was not easy for the family, but it met their needs. They lived in a apartment with one bathroom, a kitchen, a small liv- and then from 2-3:50 pm. It took 15-30 minutes to get to their school because they had to cross two, eight lane streets and one major round-about. Not to mention she was carrying Nyah, their 18 month old daughter, the whole time. China is a communist country led by President Hu Jintao. The govern- ment is still in full control of almost everything, even the internet. “My computer would do weird things, like log out of certain cites randomly,” Mr. Huck said.ment course with the teachers of the “Nyah and Heidi literally spent Every family has a one-kid that focused on creativity and In China they focus on aca- two hours each day walking Jake The ratio of boys to girl is 120:100. ”multiple teaching techniques. demics and only have the basic and Kade to and from school,” Mr. There are 35 million more boys than “In China they focus on academics Huck said. “There is also the variable girls because the boys carry on theand only have the basic classes like classes. Newspaper, choir, and of 1,500 parents picking up their own family name, which means the abor-Math, Science, Language, and History. arts classes don’t exist child out of a ten foot school gate.” tion rate is very high.Newspaper, choir, and arts classes -Matt Huck, Along with their Chinese as- “In each class there were onlydon’t exist there,” Mr. Huck said. signments, Mr. Huck and his wife about 10-15 girls in a room of 60 stu- Kindergarten is the foundation Vice Principal decided to keep the boys’ in their dents,” Mr. Huck said.of the country’s entire educational home school curricula. Since school is such a priority, theprocess. The students take an exam at ing room, and two bedrooms. The “Heidi is the one who prepares universities are very full. Just last yearthe end of the year to get into primary heat would be turned off for certain the boys’ lessons and keeps them more than 700,000 graduates wereschool which has six levels (U.S.’s months even though it was bitterly engaged in their English studies while jobless. Even though they have angrades first-sixth). They then go to cold in the apartment. They would still making sure the boys’ Chinese education, it’s still very competitive inmiddle school which has three levels push together the beds for one big school studies are completed,” Mr. the career world.(grades tenth-twelfth) and high school warm bed. Huck said. “China will have a crash veryor University which has multiple lev- The shower was a pipe in the wall Heidi also has the responsibility soon with the way they’re going now.els depending on the degree (college). that had a timed on/off switch on the of preparing and planning all of the Everyone there even knows it’s going The schooling system is very wall that held ten gallons of hot water. daily meals. She had to make at least to happen, but they don’t know whatcompetitive because the students are “We had to stagger and plan our one daily trip to the market to pur- to do about it,” Mr. Huck said.required to take exams in order to shower times for the family, but Jake chase food. With only choices from a The cleanliness is nowhere closemove forward in school. Therefore, and Kade sometimes throw a ‘curve Chinese market and no stove, Heidi to America’s spick-and-span’s a constant fight for the students, ball’ to that plan as they came in from had to be creative. All she had was a A public toilet is either holes or treesteachers, and parents to stay in the school or an activity desperately microwave, a magnetic hot plate, and in the ground. Every day, the Huckseducational race for the sake of their needing a shower,” Mr. Huck said. an electric tea kettle. would see at least one or two peoplefamily name. Water had to be boiled for precau- One other laborious task was throwing up in the streets because of “My job doesn’t even exist there tionary reasons because the water is the laundry. They were not given a the unclean food. The food even con-because any disciplinary problems unsafe to drink there. Almost ev- washer and dryer, so a trip to a laun- taminated the Hucks once in a while.would result in not being allowed to erything that had to be done in the dry facility was made often. “The trip brought my family closerattend school; thus, disgracing the apartment with water, which created Heidi would also plan daily physi- together in such a different society,family and their place in society,” Mr. a barrier when the water was shut-off cal fitness for the family. They did but I’m very glad to be home,” Mr.Huck said. each day from 9 am-12 pm and then things like jump rope, playing catch Huck said. 5 Everyone pays student tuition, again shut off between 2-5 pm. with a football, along with manybook fees, and uniform fees. These But Mr. Huck will praise his wife FEATURE |
  6. 6. Mulligans Cat Calendar February 11th- GSW/BSW @ Hastings- 11am At the Monument Shadows Golf Course GBB JV&VAR vs McCook 5:45/7:30pm Great food & atmosphere BBB JV&VAR @ McCook 5:45/7:30pm SP @ N.Platte Blue & Gold TBA WR DISTRICTS- TBA Open to the public all year round 9-12 NO SCHOOL 12th- GSW/BSW GNAC - 11am 2550 Club House Drive Gering, NE 69341 BBB JV&VAR @ N.Platte-12:30/2 pm 308-635-6868 GBB JV&VAR vs N.Platte-12:30/2pm SP @ N.Platte Blue & Gold- TBA 21st- NO SCHOOL Teacher Work Day WR Distriscts Presidents day Lincoln’s Birthday 22nd- BB JV&VAR @ Torrington-5:30/7pm Winter Royalty-8pm GBB Districts-TBA ACT Testing 24th-GSW/BSW State @ Lincoln-TBA 14th- BBB 9th @ Alliance Inv- TBA GBB Districts-TBA GBB 9th @ Gering Inv- TBA 26th- SP- Western Conference @ Alliance- Valentines Day TBA 17th- WWR State@ Omaha-TBA BBB Districts- TBA 18th- GBB/BBB VAR vs Gering- 6/7:30pm WR State@ Omaha March 3rd-GBB State @ Lincoln- TBA 19th- SP @ Ogallala-TBA WR State @ Omaha The CAT CALENDAR is brought to you by the SCOTTSBLUFF BOOSTER CLUB Pregnant? Think you might be? Birthright can HELP 1988 Bluff FREE and CONFIDENTIAL of Scottsbluff, Inc. Pregnancy Test An International Pregnancy Service1991 Bluff From Feb. 28-March 4 NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY you can get something Open Monday-Friday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm 632-5866 1993 Bluff good for yourself. You can 24-Hour Hotline 1-800-550-4900 10 East 17th Street • Scottsbluff, NE purchase your 2011 yearbook full of great2009 Bluff memories and things! You can happen to purchase these wonderful memory Anne Talbot, PsyD 1983 Bluff books from Mr. Pitkin in Mark Hald, PhD room 130, or from a Bluff or 2622 Avenue C. Alan Smith, PhD Echoes staff, here at school. Charlotte Ingram, LMHP, ATR Scottsbluff, NE2010 Bluff Georgia Nelson, LMHP 308- 632- 8547
  7. 7. LB516 needs to be shot down the ECHOESGun violence in schools will not be solved by bringing more guns into schools staff T he recent shooting at Mil- or foster school safety is absolutely before it takes place? lard South High School in absurd. What about making school a place Omaha that left an assistant The whole scenario conjures up where every kid feels safe and valued editor-in-chief | KARIN SHEDDprincipal dead and the principal images of a disgruntled teenager in- personally?wounded has rightly renewed the de- volved in a shootout in the commons Kids who feel good about their ex- news editor | SCOUT WILSONbate on school safety across the state. of the local high periences at school news writer | RYAN MEISTER Not surprisingly, some of the ensu- school with the do not bring gunsing discussion has brought some ideas principal. The views expressed to school to killto the table that appear a bit radical. One can easi- in this editorial were their teachers and feature editor | MEGHAN PRITCHARD One contribution to the school ly picture a scene peers. feature writer | RACHEL CLEMENSsafety discussion came in the form a from the infa- supported 14-1 by How aboutLB516 introduced by State Sen. Mark mous shootout continuing the feature writer | ASHLEIGH SMITHChristiansen from District 44 which is at the OK Corral. The Echoes staff dialogue betweenlocated in the Imperial, NE, area. Wyatt Earp and all of these parties The bill is an amendment to the Doc Holiday will to find meaningful center section editor | GABRIELLE CARLINstate’s Concealed Weapon’s Act and be replaced by gun-toting principals ways to secure school buildings? center section writer | ETHAN HUGHESwould allow school security person- and angst-filled teens in a face-off for School safety is a paramount issuenel, administrators, and teachers to the ages. in society today that will continue tocarry concealed weapons on campus. We do not mean to sound glib, but challenge educators to find ways to entertainment editor | RUSSELL MORGAN The right would only exist in empowering school resource officers, ensure student safety.districts where a two-thirds vote by its administrators, and teachers with Sen. Christensen’s bill should not entertainment writer | VICTORIA BRAVOgoverning body allows such action. weapons is not the answer. be part of that discussion. All gun carriers would obviously Instead, the school safety discus- We can only hope that cooler headsbe subjected to the protocol currently sion should go another direction. will prevail on this issue and LB516 sports editor | KELSEY EMPFIELDin place for anyone carrying a con- How about parents, teachers, will ride off into the sunset at the end sports writer | MADDIE HOLSCHERcealed weapon in the first place. teens, and administrators working of the legislative session, never to be The idea that this bill will promote in partnership to curb the problem heard from again. sports writer | MICHAEL MILLER two sisters from radiation and chemotherapy, which school, and headed were meant to cure her cancer, but in ad manager | CASEY SIGRIST straight to my the end they contributed to her death, grandma’s house. The because the radiation damaged her adviser | TERRY PITKIN phone rang shortly lungs and her heart. after. It was my aunt In Rita’s early 50’s she was diag- The Echoes is a tri-weekly pub- Rita. nosed with breast cancer, and had to lication printed by the Business Everyone took have a double mastectomy. Farmer. The Echoes is a member of turns talking to her, Seeing someone you love suffer the Nebraska High School Press but to be honest I with cancer makes you realize how Association and the International don’t even remember devastating it can be. Order of the Quill and Scroll. what we said to each It affected my life greatly because The Echoes encourages read- other, just “I love my aunt Rita and I were very close. ers to write letters to the editorCANCER: IT’S NOT A JOKE you” over and over. We shared the same birthday, she in response to a story, but does How can you chose my name when I was born, we reserve the right to publish said Commercializing cancer is disrespectful prepare what to say both had a love of arts and music, and letter. to someone when it is I always looked up to her as a rolepersonal commentary by RACHEL CLEMENS The Echoes also encourages the last time you will talk to them? model. December 18, 2008: supposedly all readers to submit their ideas At the time, my aunt was in the Cancer is a very serious matter.just another day of 8th grade. for story coverage, feedback on hospital. I overheard my grandma People shouldn’t make light of it. But, as I was getting ready for stories, and any other input. asking Rita if she was going home to, something just didn’t feel The Echoes pass away. I find it offensive when I see peo-right. Scottsbluff High School Rita said, “Yes mom, I am going ple wearing “I love boobies” bracelets. I walked into the kitchen, told my 313 East 27th St. home.” We all knew she really meant I think that most people wear them asparents I felt sick, and asked if I could Scottsbluff, NE 69361 Heaven. a fashion statement, or because theytake the day off. Letters with obscene, slander- Hearing what Rita said comforted think it’s cool to wear a bracelet that What began as a minor upset ous, libelous, or false information me - knowing that she would be with has the word boobies on it. I don’tstomach ended up being the worst will not be fun. The letter must God and no longer suffering. think they are actually wearing themheartache I have ever experienced. also be signed to be run. Content December 18, 2008 was the final to spread awareness of breast cancer, While dozing off on the couch, I may be edited due to grammati- day of many years of suffering from and believe that is highly disrespect-woke up to the shrill sound of the cal or content needs. A signed cancer. ful to anyone that has had cancer.telephone ringing. copy must be presented to the At the age of 26, Rita was diag- What’s worse are jokes like “I It was my uncle calling to tell us Scottsbluff High School journal- nosed with a form of cancer called would rather have cancer than *insertto meet at my grandma’s house right ism department, room 130. Also, Hodgkin’s disease. trivial problem here*.”away. please check out The Echoes’ Fa- The doctors told her that she My aunt lost her life to cancer. No “Rita is going to pass away today, group and MySpace would have to fight for her life, and one deserves to die at the age of 61,and she wants to say goodbye,” my page online! may not make it. and she certainly doesn’t deserve theuncle said. Rita had her spleen and a lump flippant way my generation treats We got in the car, picked up my in her neck removed, and endured cancer. OPINION | 7