Author Archives: Baylee Percell

Dress codes encourage objectification of women

by Baylee Percell

When a school enforces a strict dress code upon students, it has an effect on on-going issues in today’s society, namely sexual objectification and rape culture.

As young as students in elementary school, kids have been told to worry about how they dress every single day. Whether it’s rips in a pair of jeans, a skirt or pair of shorts that falls a certain number of inches above the knee, or a shirt that shows your back, students are told that how they dress affects how other people think.

Students should be able to dress freely without feeling objectified in order to teach the rising generation that clothes do not determine consent. This is more effective than the current teaching and state of mind, which ends with students being fearful to express themselves through what they wear.

How is it fair that boys can go shirtless in a PE class but girls would be shamed for wearing a tank top? Girls are constantly being told to cover up to avoid distracting male peers rather than telling males to keep their hands to themselves when a girl wears a crop top or leggings. Instead we, as women, are objectified and are being told that how you dress is how your character is portrayed and if you don’t want harassment then to dress modest which sets our power of words to be insignificant because apparently we are “asking for it” by what we wear instead of it being as simple as to say no. Aside from certain dress codes being objectifying and sexist, it’s influential to males and their perspective on consent.

While the issue may not seem big in high school, it influences that state of mind for a lifetime which result in common cases such as a case in Jakartab, where Fauzi Bowo raped and murdered a young woman and blamed it on what the woman was wearing. Or like the case in Manitoba, Canada where a man raped a woman and justified it to the judge by saying he was under “inviting circumstances” because she was wearing a tube top and high heels. In this case, the judge responded with the following statement: “This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviors.” And the man got no jail time for this assault.

Sexual assault is a huge issue. Every 98 seconds an American gets sexually assaulted. This results in 361,500 victims each year which shows that we are not teaching the right ways to prevent these terrible actions.

Death of Vista Heights teacher shakes Rockwell community


Dylan Thornton was killed in a car crash Tuesday. He taught at Vista Heights Middle School.

A much-loved husband, father, and teacher died on his way to school September 12.

Dylan Thornton, a teacher at Vista Heights Middle School, was part of a multi-car collision that ended tragically. Thornton was on his way to work at the time of the crash.

Thornton’s funeral was held Monday, where more than 3,000 students, teachers, faculty, family, and friends gathered to celebrate his life.

Thornton has been an influence to the Saratoga Springs community, and an influence in the lives of students at Rockwell.

Students who have previously attended Vista Heights Middle School were most likely to be a student of Mr. Thornton and could see not only his passion for teaching, but his passion for “Star Wars” as well. To honor Mr. Thornton, students dressed up in Star Wars t-shirts on September 13.

Many Rockwell students loved Thornton and were devastated to hear the news of his passing.

 “He always put everyone else before himself,” said Rockwell junior Kaylee Birnbaum. “He was an awesome teacher.”

Thornton cared about each and every one of his students.

“He was the nicest, most genuine guy,” said Rockwell senior CJ Jacobson. “He was by far the best teacher as Vista Heights Middle School.”

Prom: A Black Tie Event

by Baylee Percell

Prom 2017 is just around the corner!

Prom is going to be held on Saturday, April 15, at Garden Near The Green. This year’s theme is Black Tie (meaning a formal evening).

The majority of Rockwell students are beyond excited for the upcoming  prom

“I can’t believe it’s already Prom,” said Rockwell sophomore Malia Sellers. “I’m excited to see how the theme goes. It’s going to be a lot of fun!”

Students look forward to dates, but also look forward to spending time with their friends in an atmosphere other than the day-to-day school interactions.

“I’m excited to spend time with my friends,” said Rockwell junior Alexa Camargo.

Student government had a hard time picking the theme of prom this year; it was left up to 11th grade student government members to pick the perfect theme.

“We’ve been ordering decorations, backdrops, and swag for prom court,” said 11th grade Student Government Advisor, Mrs. Petersen. “There are also a few surprises for everyone attending.”

Student government put a lot of time and effort into this Prom. It’s bound to be a great time had by all. Between day dates, dinners, and the culminating event being the Prom itself, there will be something for everyone.

“A group of us are going to Boondocks and Cheesecake Factory for a day date,” said Rockwell sophomore Destiney Johnson. “It’s going to be a great time.”

Racism or the reverse?

by Baylee Percell

Reverse racism has become one of the most controversial topics in society today. While many say that reverse racism is “a thing,” others strongly oppose; I believe that many people fail to recognize it exists.

White people can be treated better than people with color – I completely agree and recognize that – but at the same time, black people can be treated better than white people. For example, the media holds certain advantages for black people such as the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, the “Miss Black America” program, ABC’s comedy show “Blackish” and the BET awards. If you replaced any of these with white people then society would be completely outraged. How does that sound like equality?

I also recognize the recent issue with cops discriminating against black people, such as the Michael Brown case. In this case, an 18 year old black man looking at a bright future got shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. But have you ever heard about Jermaine Saunders? He is a black cop who shot Daniel Kevin Harris, a 29 year old white man who was deaf and couldn’t speak. Chances are you never heard about the Daniel Kevin Harris case because there weren’t any riots, protests, or speeches just because it certainly doesn’t fit with the mainstream media message about white cops discriminating against black people. The media doesn’t like to show the discrimination against white people like they like to show it against black people.

“I think it’s true that some black people when meeting white people think they are racist,” said Lola Kliesch. “They feel as if the white race thinks they’re superior without even knowing us.”

Slavery officially ended on December 6, 1865, but discrimination continued until powerful figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. took a stand. They weren’t trying to make black people anymore superior; they wanted equality.

Muslims aren’t always terrorists, black people aren’t always thugs and white people don’t always think that they’re better than anyone because of their skin color. I believe in equality. Or, more specifically, I believe that all races should be treated equal and no advantages should be given towards Black, White, Muslim, Indian, etc. We all have certain things in common: we all are human, we all feel, and we all want the best for ourselves. I’d hope we all want what’s best for everyone around us, no matter how they look.

Teacher spotlight: Morgan Olsen

by Baylee Percell

Mrs. Olsen was born in Provo, Utah on September 17, 1991. She attended Orem High School then later went on to attend Brigham Young University.


Mrs. Olsen got married last summer. She met her husband on a blind date.

She loved high school, so her first day was exciting.

“I loved the independence,” said Mrs. Olsen. “I looked forward to being able to drive, date, etc.”

She became a teacher because “Why not?!… just kidding,” Mrs. Olsen said. “It’s because I love working with the students, seeing the amazing things they can accomplish when they set their mind to something.”

Mrs. Olsen’s highlight in teaching is building friendships and trust with students, watching them succeed, and seeing their confidence grow as they work hard.”

One of her role models is her favorite actress, Kristen Wiig. She looks up to Kristen Wiig because she is hilarious.

Even though Kristen Wiig’s comedy is something to aspire to, Mrs. Olsen says that her parents are her real role models.

“They are amazing and taught me how to be a decent person,” Mrs. Olsen said. “They always love and never judge, and that means a lot. I hope I can emulate that as well.”

Rockwells helping hands to a 12-year-old boy who barely survived



By Baylee Percell

Brandy K. Jaynes was arrested on January 9th 2017, after she put one of her three sons through tremendous abuse in Southern Utah.

On sunday January 8th, 2017  the father of the boy found him in a filthy bathroom, weighing only 30 pounds, extremely malnourished the father rushed him to the hospital. He has been said to be locked up  in the bathroom for at least a year if not more but should be able to recover from this horrific event in the next three weeks; One of the worst cases of child abuse.

“I was listening to the radio when I heard he was getting letters from around the world”,  said Mrs Starr’s “I thought it’d be a good service for our students.”

Rockwell students soon stepped in; having mentoring classes draw pictures or write him letters that were appropriate for the situation, Mrs. Christensen was also generous enough to donate some clothes.

“I think that sending letters was extremely beneficial to not only the boy but to me and other students too”, said Rockwell student Malia Seller “it made me feel like I made a difference.”

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make musical history in LaLa Land

By Baylee Percell

Mia (Emma Stone) is a barista looking to make it big in Los Angeles but with countless awful auditions her dreams of becoming an actress  seem to be more out of reach than she originally thought.

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is an unsuccessful jazz pianist , with jobs that are unstable and don’t allow him to show off his talent of jazz, although he refuses to give up his dream of owning his own jazz club

Romance soon blooms between Mia and Sebastian but on the path to success rise many obstacles in their relationship.

In this captivating, passionate and humorous musical presents the value of chasing dreams and finding love. A definite must see!