The Door Debacle

By Benji Kurokawa

Today, I wish to address a safety issue that I believe could become a liability. You probably practiced this during your safety drills: barricading the door. I understand the idea. You block the bad guy with desks so that he can’t get in. Here’s the flaw: the doors open outwards. If the assailant can unlock the door, they can just swing it open and push the barricade over. If someone with a weapon gets into the room, the people inside are forced to fight with whatever they have with them. Let us set a situation like a video game, where if the villain gets into the room, it’s game over. Let us also assume the villain can get past the door lock. If the door swings outwards, he pushes the barricade over and gets in. Game over. If the door swings inward, he can’t see through the magnetic strip and can’t push the door in. Not being able to see through or push in the door will most likely encourage the assailant to either stop or move on. You win!

However, perhaps there is a reason for the door to swing outward. Let us now say that the room is on fire and people need to get out. In an average class with about 18 people, usually everyone except the teacher and maybe a couple of students will panic. With 15 or more people panicking and trying to get through the door, it’s easy to push it out and flood out of the burning room. If the door opened inwards and people tried to shove out, the door could get blocked and no one would get out. The person trying to open it could be blocked by the panicked people and become unable to open the door. Game over.

So now, it comes down to a choice. Do you trust that the the people in the room will remain calm enough to open the door? Or, do you trust that an armed aggressor on campus will not be able to get through the door lock? It’s a hard question. Oh, but I’m not done yet.

Now the final issue: likelihood. What is more likely to occur: a school violence incident or a fire/gas leak? Well, it becomes reliant on two things: the responsibility of the people in the school, and the stability of the people outside it. Really, it depends on where you are. I will leave this thought for you: In California, earthquakes and fires are actually quite common. Would you rather the door swing in or out? Is there really a choice with this information? If you would like to tell me what you think or if you have a counter-argument, go ahead and tell me. This is Benji.



By Elise Beiser and Benji Kurokawa

Litter. This is a rather boring topic, but semi-important for those who cannot handle it. We have noticed many people dropping food, napkins, wrappers, plastic bags, and all that good stuff. The teachers have noticed this as well, and we feel that we should tell you about what you can do to help with this somewhat embarrassing problem. If you look at a dropped napkin, don’t you feel a slight hesitation? Don’t you have an involuntary want to pick it up and throw it away? That’s good. Come to the clean side, Anakin. We have free erasers. Anyways, you want to pick it up. Why not? Maybe you convince yourself that it’s not your problem. Maybe you say that someone else will get it. But, if everyone thinks someone else will do it, no one will do it. Let me tell you, it takes some mental strength to ignore litter on the ground and keep walking. It takes much more strength to ignore the fact that it’s not your trash and pick it up. My friend here made a good point. He says that littering may not destroy the atmosphere right away, but as people do it, they make it a habit. Habits like littering are hard to break. So, don’t let that habit form and solidify. All we need is some decrease in litter, and the world will be a cleaner place.

Staff Profile: Elise

 Hi! My name is Elise Beiser. I have gone to Valley Christian since I was in kindergarten. I was born in Grand Rapids, MI, and when I was two, we moved to California. In school, I always try to get straight As, and I often work too hard to get them. I also have many hobbies  such as swimming and skiing. I have been skiing since I was four, and I have been swimming for almost my whole life. I also love photography. Any chance I can get, I love to take a good photo of the beach or the mountains. A couple years ago some very good friends of mine showed me “Star Wars: A New Hope”, and I have been in love with the franchise ever since. This also started my love for super heroes. I love the MCU (the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and I watch each one of their movies that comes out. My favorite TV show is “The Flash,” and I am so excited for season 3 to start. I am looking forward to writing stories for you guys.

Staff Profile: Benji

Hey! You! No, the other one. No, behind him. The one with the iPad! Ok. Hi! I’m Benji Kurokawa. I work with Elise Beiser on the school improvements section of this here nifty little newspaper. I enjoy reading, playing video games, and having a good debate. My email is open to anyone that wants to send me an idea for a school improvement or just a good question for me to ponder. It’s totally fine if you can’t pronounce or spell my last name, but bonus points if you can pronounce it. Bonus bonus points if you can spell and pronounce it correctly. You can also just tell me your question or suggestion if you see me wandering the campus with my friends, engaged in a death battle with a wasp. My email is See you around!

Effective Teaching Strategy

By Benji Kurokawa and Elise Beiser

We have noticed certain teachers using different note-taking methods that we find to be particularly effective. An example is Mrs. Masamori, who uses prepared slides to help her students take notes. We have found this to be very helpful and allows students to move at their own pace and write what they need to write. Mrs. Masamori keeps things simple and reveals quicker and easier methods to perform what were thought to be difficult and tedious operations. We asked some of our peers as to what they think of her as a teacher. They explained, “We understand her methods, and it helps that she has a visual up (on the board).” Mrs. Masamori’s slides are just one example of teachers using efficient and helpful teaching methods. Teachers, don’t be afraid to experiment with new teaching methods. If it doesn’t work, your students will show it. Students, go ahead and submit ideas of what you think your teachers do well. We just might put one of your ideas in an article!

Send me your honest opinions at Have a nice day!