Freedom and the Framers

“If freedom of speech is taken away,” George Washington told a group of military officers in 1783, “then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” America’s government has not always upheld the right to free speech, but American culture has always held free speech in high esteem.

Prompted by James Madison, The Bill of Rights was passed in 1790. The Bill secured freedom of speech for all American citizens (only white land-owning males at the time). It was not long, however, before these rights were in danger. Passed in 1798, the Alien and Sedition act prevented certain criticisms of the president; an attempt by President John Adams to hurt his presidential opponent, Thomas Jefferson.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, liberalism and other philosophies that emphasize individual rights were being developed. In his Second Treatise on Government, John Locke, an English philosopher, states, “Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” This idea appears, almost word for word, in the American Constitution. The influence of  European philosophy on the Founding Fathers is noteworthy, seeing as America’s founding document finds its base in the ideas of John Locke and other 17th and 18th century liberals.


John Locke, c.a. 1690

At the time the constitution was written, schools were not public, and warranted little attention from the government. The first time the American government acknowledged the rights of students was in Board of Education vs. Barnette, a landmark case in which the Supreme Court sided with a group of Jehovah’s Witness students. The students challenged the 1943 law mandating that all students salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The Court ruled that the 1st Amendment protects a citizen’s right to not say something. Later, during the Vietnam War, the court, once again, ruled in favor of the students’ 1st Amendment rights. This decision, Tinker vs. Des Moines ICSD, established a student’s right to protest on school property, so long as he or she does not disrupt classwork.

Mary and John Tinker

Although universities existed at the time the constitution was developed, the Founding Fathers did not feel they had a right to mandate certain policies on university campuses. Now, constitutional rights on college campuses has become a pressing issue, with some institutions banning certain types of speech altogether. America is split over this issue, with republicans fighting for all speech, regardless of how offensive or triggering its content, to be allowed. On the other hand, democrats generally believe that speech that triggers or offends someone should be restricted.

Many who support censoring hate speech defend their views by bringing up the harm that hate speech can cause to minority groups. Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley Law School’s new dean, argues that the harm speech can create is the reason all speech must be protected. Chemerinsky uses the fact that speech can offend or uplift to show how vital it is to society in general. He proposes a new method of handling offensive or hateful speakers. In this new method, a university should reaffirm its beliefs and condemn the speaker, while still giving them the opportunity to speak.

Berkeley students protest Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech on campus

Restrictions on how speech can be used have historically been instituted to limit progress. In the words of Peter Tatchell, a prominent human rights lawyer, “Free speech does not mean giving bigots a free pass. It includes the right and moral imperative to challenge, oppose and protest bigoted views. Bad ideas are most effectively defeated by good ideas – backed up by ethics, reason – rather than by bans and censorship.” Tatchell, among others, believes that restricting speech can only help contribute to the advancement of the same ideas that democratic campuses seek to eliminate.

An informed and talkative population has historically been the enemy of any despotic ruler. From enlightenment age, writers and social commentators, like Voltaire, who criticized autocratic monarchs, to modern-day Russian activist groups imprisoned for criticizing Vladmir Putin’s egregious human rights record, free speech has been proven to strike fear into the hearts of the most brutal regimes.

Freedom of speech has been an integral part of American life since the very beginnings of the nation. Speech can be used to belittle and offend, but it also has the power to inform and change society. Now, as society progresses, America is faced with a dilemma – to hide from injustice or to use speech as a tool to dismantle it.


Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” -Albert Einstein


World War III. This conflict is something that everyone knows would be catastrophic, even apocalyptic, but no one seems to think it will happen in their lifetime. But what if this war was not really as far away as it seems? Right now the United States is experiencing some very strenuous tensions with some very major world powers, most prominently with Russia, China, and North Korea.




National Flag of the United States of America







One reason the US military is so professional is because it is a completely volunteer military.
Through years of combat, the US military has been able to master its capability in warfare.

The United States of America is currently the most powerful country in the world and possesses the most technologically advanced and effective military in history. It is a world leader in many areas and a founding member of NATO. The current US president is Donald J. Trump. With the new presidency, other countries will be bound to test his limits. An example of such testing was on April 18th and 19th, Russian military aircraft flew dangerously close to the US, which was met with US fighters to turn them around. But this emphasizes a reality that the Eastern nations typically aren’t as fond of America as the West is. This is no surprise as it has been this way for decades, even involving numerous proxy wars such as the Vietnam War and the current Syrian Civil War. The US, however, has not given up ground in the face of a potential war, and neither has the East. The US proved this with the launching of 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase housing chemical weapons. Tensions are only rising with the US and the East, and it might not be long before someone snaps and the world is thrown into chaos once again.

The US Military is by far the most experienced fighting force out of these four countries. The US has constantly been in and out of conflicts for almost the past century. This means America has an edge in experienced war-fighters and has been able to master its military effectiveness in live combat. US Special Operations Forces (SOFs) are extremely effective and have successfully completed numerous missions throughout the world. From the capture of Saddam Hussein, to the assassination of Osama bin Laden, American SOFs have continually proven themselves on a global scale.

The United States also has hundreds of military bases around the world, which means they have many forces able to respond quickly at their disposal. Already the military is starting to reinforce certain areas under its protection. For instance, the US just deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems to South Korea. This was clearly in response to the rash nuclear warhead development that is happening in North Korea.




National flag of the Russian Federation








The US and Russia have had a very shaky relationship throughout history, and although these two nations have never formally been at war with each other, they have been engaged in proxy wars with each other. America has a lot of anti-Russia sentiment and Russia has a lot of anti-west sentiment. Currently, Russia would be a very bad country to get into a war with, not so much because of their conventional military force, which will be discussed later, but because of their nuclear stockpile, as it is the largest in the world. The US and Russia are being kept from warring with each other by a very dismal policy, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Mutually Assured Destruction is the concept where if one country deploys nuclear weapons against another, then by the time those Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) reach their target the other nation will have its own WMDs already on the way, and both countries will be obliterated.


Although the Russian Military has less Active Duty personnel than the US, it makes up for this in larger numbers of Reserves
Although the Russian military has less Active Duty personnel than the US, it makes up for this in larger numbers of Reserves.

So for example, if Russia launches its nuclear warheads at the US, then by the time those warheads detonate over American cities, American warheads will be on the way to destroy Russia’s cities. This is a very unfortunate and rather risky foreign policy, but at this point it is the only practical solution. For now, though, this will hold both nations at bay.

Unlike the US, the Russian Federation still drafts personnel for their military, meaning that once able-bodied men reach a certain age, they are required to join the military for a certain amount of time. Although they have a smaller number of active duty personnel, they make up for it with nearly 2.5 million reserves. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Russian military is not nearly the global force it used to be; however, they are currently performing major reforms and significantly improving its effectiveness.





National flag of the People’s Republic of China








The United States and China also currently have a pretty rocky relationship. New issues have arisen especially concerning China’s territorial claims in the East China Sea. In this seemingly out-of-line lunge for territory, China has declared that any aircraft passing through its airspace must identify itself or face a possible military response.

The People's Liberation Army boasts the most numerous Active Duty ground forces.
China’s military, The People’s Liberation Army, boasts the most numerous Active Duty ground forces.

China has also directed its anger towards the US as a result of American missile defense systems being deployed to South Korea. The Chinese military possesses the second largest amount of overall military personnel, with nearly 5 million in total. However, the Council on Foreign Relations says that China is still currently two decades behind America in terms of military capabilities and technology. That being said, they are still a mighty force to be reckoned with, and it wouldn’t be wise to face them without a decent plan. One thing to be taken into account though, is that the US is in a lot of debt to China, so if America was destroyed, China would be losing a significant amount of money, which would hurt them.




National flag of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea







Out of all three of these countries, North Korea is the real danger. This is not because of its military might, which is actually quite pathetic compared to nation

Despite their large numbers, North Korea is significantly lacking in military efficiency
Despite their large numbers, North Korea is significantly lacking in military efficiency

s such as the US or Russia, but because of its leader, Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong Un, a brutal Communist dictator, is best described as rather mentally unstable and unpredictable. In any other circumstance this might not be that much of a problem, but in this case, North Korea is developing nuclear weapons. Obviously, WMDs and impulsiveness are two things that should never go together, especially in the modern world, but North Korea might have both in the near future. However, some believe that these tensions and risks in the Korean Peninsula are actually drawing the US and China closer together, despite their differences.

The North Korean military, with over 5 million personnel, is definitely the biggest. Even so, they are pitifully weak and incapable given their size and demeanor. According to Global Firepower they are ranked as the 25th strongest military in the world, which is laughable compared to the three other countries. Interestingly enough, the United States is still technically at war with North Korea, as peace has never been officially declared. These two countries have an armistice, instead of a peace treaty, meaning that military operations could start again at any time. This wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world, though. North Korea, due to its actions, has somewhat alienated Russia and China, its most powerful potential allies.


Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization








The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance tasked with maintaining peace. According to, “NATO’s essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.”

There are currently 28 Member Nations in NATO, these are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, The United Kingdom, and The United States. This provides a large number of allies and resources to the United States, if war did erupt.


SCO logo
SCO logo










The SCO, or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, can basically be described as a counter-balance to NATO. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan founded in Shanghai in 2001.” This isn’t nearly as large of an alliance as NATO, but it definitely is not to be ignored. The SCO would definitely be called into action if a war erupted, and nations would be held to their word.


No one really knows how this would turn out, but it is very likely that a third world war would play out very similar to the second world war. Russia would probably be engaged in Europe while China/North Korea would be fought in the Pacific Ocean. However, one major difference is the mass number of nuclear warheads, the deployment of which are only held at bay by mutually assured destruction. That means that countries with WMDs are basically holding a gun to the other nation’s head, and vice versa.

Even if the nuclear warheads are taken out of the equation and the war was fought conventionally, it would still be the bloodiest conflict to ever occur. Tens, possibly hundreds of millions of military personnel would be involved, and there would be casualties unlike anything ever seen before. It will greatly effect everyone in the world, regardless of what side they are on. Whether they are a civilian, soldier, politician, or child, their lives would change forever. No one would be safe, and no one would be unaffected.

There would be mass casualties on all sides.
There would be mass casualties on all sides.



What would happen when this war ends? What would the world gain and what would it lose?

War has always been extremely controversial, but for a war to be productive, the good coming from it needs to be greater than the evil it has caused. Many wars have wrought positive contribution to society and some have wrought negative consequences. This war could produce two types of overall effects, an extreme pro/con or a stalemate. Granted, the pros and cons are subjective to the country itself. However, in general, the pros could possibly be long-lasting and beneficial to the greater good of mankind. Such a pro would be the defeat of the opposing country, which would either result in a disintegration/occupation or a regime change. This could be very good depending on the goals in mind. Another would be a temporary relief of the tight-strung tensions that are currently present. It would mean a sudden advancement in many technologies and sciences, as each nation would strive to outdo the other in such fields.

The cons in this scenario are typically going to be more universal. Things such as mass death, destruction, and suffering are the more obvious ones. However, other things could have massive effects as a result of a third world war. It is likely that many governments could be destabilized, causing more chaos through rebel factions, cartels, riots, and criminal activity. Economies around the world would also be destroyed through the amount of spending that would go towards the war cause. Ultimately, if nuclear weapons are used, earth would look less like it does now and more like a manifestation of hell itself.

Probably the worst outcome, though, would be a stalemate. In this situation, it would mean that no progress would have been built on the sacrifices of millions of dead. WWI saw this on a smaller scale when engaged in trench warfare. This outcome would be severely frustrating and devastating. It would mean that all of these countries have taken so many casualties and have received so much damage that it would be more beneficial to end the war and accomplish almost nothing than to continue.

Regardless of the outcome, the end of a war like this would come at a very high cost. Everyone would suffer and the world would be changed forever. A century ago, people experienced a conflict unlike any other, the first modern war. Artillery, machine-guns and chemical weapons filled the muddy battlefields with bodies, and the world was faced with the grim reality of warfare. Only 21 years later, another war on the same scale broke out that altered war forever. Civilians in countless numbers were rounded up and executed, cities were bombed regardless of the level of innocent deaths, and with the development of the nuclear bomb, nations controlled the capability to wipe out hundreds of millions at a time. This all happened in a span of 31 years, imagine what would happen if the globe was thrown into another one of these conflicts. That’s not saying that there is no time for military action or a violent response, because there comes a point where people need to defend themselves and their nation. However, this would be a war that, if its full potential is unleashed, would scar the world beyond any comparison.





Benefits of Joining the United States Military

The US military is by far the most powerful military in history, powerful enough to counter any rival that dares to fight it. It is also the most important community in the nation, as it is the main force that would repel any invader. This community is completely volunteer-based, as it hasn’t used the draft since Vietnam, and this is one of the contributing factors to its powerful capabilities. In 2015, according to, the U.S. Army had 490,326 Active Duty and 198, 599 Reserve personnel. The U.S. Navy had 326,253 Active Duty and 57,859 Reserve personnel. The U.S. Marine Corps had 183,787 Active Duty and 38,213 Reserve personnel. The U.S. Air Force had 310,795 Active Duty and 69, 127 Reserve personnel. Lastly, the U.S. Coast Guard had 40,075 Active Duty and 7,417 Reserve personnel.


The U.S. Army is the biggest branch of the military and has the most powerful ground force of all the branches. According to, “The U.S. Army’s mission is to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.” The Army provides the bulk of many ground-based operations and has been around since 1775. This branch contains a myriad of military occupational specialties (MOS) allowing for many different experiences. There are positions such as: infantry, armor, mechanized infantry, parachute infantry, special operations, medical occupations, technical occupations, helicopter-related occupations, and much, much more. This branch is essential for any major inland campaign, and provides the backbone for such theaters of combat.


The U.S. Navy is another major military branch. According to, “The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.” The Navy is the maritime branch of the armed forces, mainly focusing on naval operations. The U.S. Naval Fleet has plenty of ships, including 19 aircraft carriers, more than any other nation in the world. The Navy performs plenty of roles, as it fights in the air, on the water, and on land, possessing a wide variety of ships, submarines, and aircraft, while it engages in land operations through the Marines and special operations units.


The U.S. Marine Corps is the other major ground force.  According to, “The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained, and equipped to provide fleet marine forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign.” Since it is officially a part of the Navy, it specializes more in maritime-related operation such as beach landings. The Marines are also able to take part in land-based operations, just not as extensively as the Army. The Marines are very well-trained for a variety of roles such as infantry, pilots, tankers, and more.

Mrs. Cessor-Culverthe Middle School Administrative Assistant, was in the U.S. Marine Corps as a diesel mechanic, range coach, and career retention specialist with 21+ years of service. She said that “[I’m] glad I joined” and that although there are many sacrifices, it teaches you a lot.


The U.S. Air Force is the primary air power in the military. According to, “The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win…in air, space and cyberspace.” Although the Navy and Marines utilize aircraft, the Air Force is centered around them. It is the single largest air force in the world. The aircraft in use by the Air Force can bring major firepower to the battlefield. They have everything from jet fighters and bombers, to stealth aircraft and troop transports. They do many things regarding space and cyberspace as well.


The Coast Guard is the force that protects the United State’s domestic waters. According to, “The mission of the United States Coast Guard is to ensure our Nation’s maritime safety, security and stewardship. ” Although overlooked a lot, they are a massive component in keeping the nation safe, as they deal with everything from counter-drug ops to rescue missions. This branch is always working, as they perform emergency services as well as the combat duties. They are the only branch of the military to also be a part of the Department of Homeland Defense, which means that it is allowed to be used to enforce laws domestically. The only other military units allowed to do this are the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.


Special Operations Forces (SOF) are a major part of the U.S. Military. Every branch of the U.S. Military possesses at least one SOF. The most elite SOFs are units such as the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and the Army’s Delta Force. Both of these units are extremely well-trained and are sent to perform some of the most critical missions, like the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the capture of Saddam Hussein. Other units, although not at the same tier as these two, are still very efficient. These include units such as the Marine Corps’ Task Force Recon, the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment and Special Forces (Green Berets), the Air Force’s Para-Jumpers, as well as others.

But what can you gain from joining any of these? The military, being volunteer-based and service-oriented, won’t really give you wealth and luxury like certain civilian careers; however, you will be hard-pressed in finding another community that develops character more efficiently than the Armed Forces. It is about service and sacrifice, not personal gain. But, on the other hand, there are many practical skills and values that the military can help develop. Just being in the military boosts discipline, respectfulness, honesty, courage, honor, and other virtues, but when it comes to practical skills, different occupations teach different skills like: organization, navigational skills, weapons-handling, survival, coordination, situational awareness, technical skills, medical skills, stealth, calmness in emergencies, responsibility, leadership skills, self-defense, rapid decision-making skills, and the list goes on.

The military can also provide extreme hands-on experience. If you want to be a doctor or work at a hospital, then being a combat medic puts you in situations where you have to deal with in-the-field injuries that can range from broken bones to gunshot wounds. If you wants to be an engineer, then you have the chance to work on aircraft, tanks, ships, and many other sorts of vehicles. If you eventually want to join Law Enforcement then being in the infantry or a SOF will provide a myriad of combat and tactical skills. If a you want to be a pilot, every branch has some form of aircraft, whether it be transport helicopters or fighters. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make; you can go for whatever occupation you desire.  The military is all about determination, so nothing is stopping you from trying anything.

Another benefit from joining the military is being able to do things that civilians might never get the chance to do. You will be able to be sent to the various American military bases all over the world. Most people have to spend thousands of dollars to do something like that, while you can do it for free. Also, the social experience is amazing. In the military, you may find the best friends in your life. Again, if you want a future civilian career, then having been in the military can help with too. Having military experience on your resume shows that you have been trained in discipline, virtue, and efficiency, which are all qualities that a job would look for.

The military is now more diverse than ever, as women are allowed to perform certain combat roles. There are still units closed to female personnel, such as many special operations units. But overall, the military is in a much better position to include female personnel than it was in the past. This will be beneficial to women because they will be able to experience the same benefits that men have.

Joining an ROTC program or going to a military academy can be extremely helpful for a military career or even a civilian life afterwards. Joining one of these means that once you graduate from the four years of college and the basic training, you can start off as an officer. There arethree military academies in the U.S.: the United States Military Academy (West Point), the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis), and the United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs). These are highly prestigious and extremely selective schools that provide better military curriculum than any other ROTC program and prepare the cadets for military life by immersing their entire college experience in a military atmosphere. Going to either a military academy or a college with a senior military program will guarantee you an active duty commission, while cadets need to compete for these when attending a normal ROTC program.

Overall, the military will give you a level of experience and hands-on training that no job could dream of providing. It also instills many virtues and good characteristics in you. The military has a rich tradition of excellence in everything it does, giving you the best experience of your life; even though it has much pain and sacrifice tied to it, this career choice is for those who want to stand above the rest by giving their lives to the service of others.

US Army website

US Navy website

US Marine Corps website

US Air Force website

US Coast Guard website







Because I Said So

When growing up we have all heard our parents explain away something with the famous phrase “because I said so”. Many times this phrase is said out of love and protection, but as we all grow up our parents have started to explain the real reasons behind everything; that is what the students at PA are asking for.
Every student realizes that there is a dress code and many are thankful for it, because of the code it takes away the worry of what to wear in the morning and matching the crowd.
However, regarding specifics of the dress code, there are many different opinions. Many girls get very annoyed with the small rules that many regard as frivolous.
“I think it is detrimental in how strict it is and the arbitrary way the rules seem to change. For example, the socks to the knee and the skirts to the knee- this is a rule that is either new or never enforced and it seems very arbitrary the way it came into effect,” Senior Mina McMillan says.
While the overall goal of the administration is for the girls to be dressed modestly and make sure everyone does follow the exact rules, having three different Upper School directors in the past three years has added to the students’ feelings of confusion about the dress code. Each year the interpretation and enforcement of the rules has been different. In the past years the sock rule was rarely enforced, but this year a wide variety of girls have received verbal warnings for not having the correct socks or not having their socks pulled up. The change in who interprets the rules and how strictly they are enforced has changed and left many confused or irritated.  Teachers also vary on their actual enforcement of certain uniform policies. The enforcement becomes even more problematic due to the sensitive nature of talking to girls about skirt length.  Mrs. Ramirez said that she tries her hardest to make sure she pulls the girls aside to talk about the problem, rather than make it a public ordeal which can lead to embarrassment. However other teachers will make no attempt in hiding it, making the students feel awkward or embarrassed.
The biggest frustration for the students is how much attention has been focused on the minor things.  Other than the sock rule enforcement, skirt length has become an issue. Many girls have difficulty staying in compliance with the skirt length, finding that their skirts are often just above their knees.
“I just think teachers forget that we all come in different shapes and sizes and the uniform fits all of us differently. We should not be attacked if our uniform, which is modest in all forms, does not perfectly meet every standard. Uniforms are good and important but like anything can be bad if they are too rigid,” says Senior Olivia Mannella.
Since the uniform policy requires a specific skirt, the girls are not given the freedom to wear different styles of skirts, pencil skirts or any other variety, that may fit their bodies better.  To correct the issue, many girls have been asked to purchase larger sized skirts so that they meet the mid-knee requirement.
“The biggest problem is that the skirts that are longer are too big in the waist, so I have to roll them to keep them from sliding down, but then that makes them shorter,”  says Senior Evie Kenney.
It may appear that the students complain too much, or do not understand the rules; however, the majority of students do in fact understand but simply disagree.
“I think the uniform enforces discipline, which can be good! However, if the uniform is overly enforced, it can also be somewhat demeaning and awkward for the students,” says Olivia Mannella.
All in all there seems to be a miscommunication between the administration and students that could be cleared up with a conversation where both sides are willing to listen. The students like the benefits of having a uniform. It can help your grades and much more…but will having socks that reach your knee help students get an A?

The common look…can you see the difference?
How it should look

Christmas Trees Around School

Christmas trees are a symbol of Christ during the Christmas season. A Christmas tree by definition is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce, pine, or fir or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas.

One of the artificial trees in the atrium.
One of the artificial trees in the atrium.

There are two real trees at PA and two fake ones in the common areas. Plus there are many fake trees in classrooms.
But the most beloved trees tower over the students’ heads as they enter the building and sit to each lunch. PA gets these trees from the Hanauer Family Tree Farm in Wisconsin. Mr. John Wagner, the head custodian, says that this year’s indoor tree is the best one the school has ever had.
The real trees that PA purchases take a lot of work and effort to set up. Mr. Wagner and his crew are to be thanked for setting up these trees for our school. It took 11 people to set up the outdoor tree, and six people to set up the indoor tree. Mr. Wagner and his crew don’t just set up the Christmas trees, they decorate them as well.

The indoor Christmas tree, which is in the Great Room.
The indoor Christmas tree, which is in the Great Room.

The Christmas trees would not be the same without… the lights. Lights have been an important feature on Christmas trees since 1895, when Ralph Morris, who was an American telephonist, invented the world’s first electric Christmas lights.  Before Morris’ invention many people would light their trees with real burning candles causing many fires to occur. The lights Morris designed are similar to the ones we use today.
There are 8,400 lights on the inside tree and 12,000 on the outside tree. Mr. Wagner has tried to get PA to allow colored lights, but PA decided to stick with the classiness of the white lights.

The outdoor Christmas tree with the manger scene in front.
The outdoor Christmas tree with the manger scene in front.

Another important decorating aspect of Christmas trees are the ornaments. The Christmas tree in the Great Room has been decorated with the same ornaments for the past 15 years. They lose a few every year, but have stuck with the original ornaments.
Many admire the manger scene in the front of school, standing in front of the outdoor Christmas tree.
Tess Carney ‘19 says, “My favorite tree at school is the one outside in the front, because it has the manger scene.”
Mr. Wagner and his crew built the manger scene out of an old fence from Rockford Road that was going to be thrown away.
The Christmas tree is one of the many things that bring spirit to the Christmas season. The Christmas tree is one of the aspects that make Christmas “the most wonderful time of the year.”