The Rocket Flame

A Covid Return To School

The year 2020 wasn’t what anyone expected and going back to school was one of the biggest challenges. When returning back to school we were not greeted by smiles because they were covered by masks and although we were back together we are still separated by a distance of six feet. We are also split up by the A and B schedule of one day online and the other day in school. Senior Kierra Griffith comments on the A and B schedule saying, “Everything is disorganized with the online days and some teachers add a lot more work to do than others and the work is on different platforms.” With this unknown year ahead of us there are concerns from many students about masks, sports, and dislikes of the new rules. 

A big thing for JB students is sports and their fans. Stands would be packed with fans cheering on our teams but now only those who have a ticket can get in to watch. Contact sports have to change so there would be little to no contact with the players. Senior soccer player Kadenn Martin commented, “We can’t touch each other when we play, which is hard because it is a contact sport.” Off the fields and courts masks are required and before players can even begin to play they must get their temperature taken and answer a series of questions.

Many students have mixed feelings about the rules we have to follow in order to have a safe school experience. In classrooms there is a smaller number of students in each class. More work is done on your own because you can not do a lot of partner work due to social distancing. During Kadenn Martin’s interview she explains how there are smaller class sizes and how everyone is spread out. Even though there are smaller classes and everyone is spaced out we still have to wear a mask the entire time. Junior Ashley Alfree says, “Mask breaks are greatly appreciated.” The only time we can take our masks off is during our ten minute mask breaks and at lunch while we are eating. Overall, a lot of students do not like wearing masks and having to be socially distanced from their friends. 

Despite all of the challenges students have been facing so far this school year we are still hoping for a great year. The teachers and principals have worked hard to still provide the students with a great year on a somewhat normal basis. On a positive outlook students are excited that we will be going back to school all together on November 5. 


Acknowledging Drugs and Vaping


During school on Monday March 2, JBHS students gained knowledge about the topics of vaping, drug abuse and opioids. Pennsylvania State Trooper Megan Ammerman began the presentation by talking about the opioids crisis.

“Opioids are any painkillers: they are in that category,” said Ammerman.

Opioids are commonly prescribed to a patient for pain relief. According to Truth, that patient often becomes dependent on that drug, and then need more to feel the pain relief. Often patients think taking prescribed medicine from a doctor as a painkiller is the responsible thing to do, yet they become addicted from too much use and should be monitored carefully.

“Say someone gets into a car crash: that person can be prescribed the opioids and eventually get addicted and dependent on that drug,” said Ammerman.

Ammerman then discussed opioids as a gateway drug to heroin, which is the most addictive drug. According to  AAC, heroin, when taken, connects to opioid receptors in the brain, leading to the addiction and becoming much more dominant to the abuser. Heroin is commonly used as an alternative to opioids  since they are very expensive.

“Opioids can cost up to $10 for one pill,” said Ammerman. “If you’re taking five a day to keep that high, that’s $50 a day.”

Going down a even more dangerous path just to relieve pain and feel the “happy” feeling that their opioids gave them, heroin leads to a deeper addiction and problem.

When Ammerman wrapped up her presentation, she handed the attention to Christy Unger, the Director of Programming for the Healthy Communities Partnership of Franklin County.  She discussed the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping, something that has become prevalent in many teens.

“E-cigarettes are electronic cigarettes that are battery-powered devices that can deliver nicotine and flavorings to the user in the form of aerosol,” said Unger.

There are many companies such as JUUL participating in the production in these harmful products which can often cause even more damage than cigarettes to the user.

“The most detrimental part of vaping and e-cigarettes really focuses on the teen generations and targets them into thinking vaping is cool,” said Unger.

The impact JUUL and so many other e-cigarette companies on younger generations is huge. Young adults and kids become addicted to smoking these products that ends up harming them.  The addiction begins because many pods contain the nicotine of 20 cigarettes, yet most teens think they only contain flavoring.  This misconception is what leads to many teens becoming addicted at an early age.

Wrapping up the assembly, principal Mr. Samuel Dickey (Faculty) acknowledged how vaping and drugs are affecting students. It’s really important to understand how vaping is affecting students as it causes health problems from the start.

“I have sent five students to the hospital due to vaping-related issues this year,” said Dickey during the assembly.  This shows that vaping has even impacted the small community of Mercersburg, PA.

Ammerman and Unger were pleased to help students acknowledge information about drugs and vaping through this assembly. Not only is this their job to give information about these topics, but they also enjoy sharing their stories with young minds to prevent them from making mistakes that will affect their health and futures.

Both will be present for a community informational event on March 3  held in the JBHS Auditorium at 6 PM.  There will be time for questions after the presentation.

*Correction: An earlier versions of this article incorrectly identified Christy Unger, Director of Programming for the Healthy Communities Partnership as Kristy Hungar.  We apologize for this inaccuracy.

FLO Interviews

FLO Interviews

Frozen 2 Movie Review

Frozen 2 Movie Review

Frozen 2(2019)


Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Evan Rachel Wood, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Santino Fontana


Directors: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck


Synopsis: Elsa the Snow Queen joins her sister Anna on an adventure outside their Kingdom of Arendelle. Characters that go alongside the two protagonists are Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven.The characters travel to an ancient Enchanted Forest in search for the origin of Elsa’s powers; they hope to save the people of their kingdom and lift the spell that has trapped many people in the forest.


What’s Hot 

Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck bring this sequel to theaters. This film is a heart-warming experience. It is touching to see the elevation of sisterhood demonstrated between Anna and Elsa, as well as the empowerment and friendship the characters took on throughout their adventure in the Enchanted Forest. This sequel was very different from the first film, and that made the film unpredictable.The storyline was good, and the new, catchy music was sure to leave young Anna and Elsa fans wanting more.


What’s Not 

This film was intended for younger audiences much like the first movie. Although more mature audiences can enjoy this film, the animated feel and kid-like storyline is more enjoyable for younger audiences.


Bottom Line 

The film portrays fantasy and is very friendly. This movie is definitely a must-watch with the family. Overall I enjoyed the film, and believe it to be worth my time.





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Makenna Maldonado