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For Rigorous Education, Choose Interdisciplinary Courses

Advanced Placement, honors, and regular courses: these are the typical options a high school student will examine when building their schedule for a new school year. A student looking for rigor in their schedule will turn first to Advanced Placement (AP) courses, standardized by the College Board and self-described as “college-level” academic experiences. Next come honors options, usually intended to cover more content or incorporate more detail than their regular counterparts...

Interview: Is College Admissions Evolving Beyond the College Visit?

It might be, explains Ryan Scudder, Associate Director of College Counseling at Punahou School. The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on college visits, but the downward trend in student attendance began years earlier. Other factors that may have drawn student attention away from this classic aspect of college admissions include busy schedules and an abundance of information that can be accessed online. College visits are a major opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to learn about...

“Devious Licks” Raise Questions About Student Wellbeing

It was nearly the end of September when the signs went up on the doors of restrooms across the Academy and in Case Middle School. “Acts of vandalism have been reported in this restroom,” they read in a neat black serif font. “Vandalism is an expellable offense.” The signs requested that students call the student safety helpline to report people who have engaged in vandalism on campus, and “assist the Maintenance Staff in keeping the restroom clean and free of vandalism.” What happened?

Local Teens Impersonated in Instagram Scam

When Alice’s phone started buzzing, she didn’t know what to think. Some of her friends were texting her to say that her Instagram account had been hacked. They must have been wrong, though, because she had just gotten a DM from her cousin saying someone was impersonating her. Opening the message, she discovered a new account with her name, profile picture, and posts. The bio talked about “18+ content,” and there was a link to what looked like a pornographic website, with her name and photo at...

As New School Year Begins, Academy Students Struggle To Adapt

In a more normal year, back-to-school anxiety might not be newsworthy. Every new school year brings new classes and teachers, new friends and new responsibilities, and a long list of new things for every student to think and worry about. But after eighteen months of pandemic-fueled abnormality, and during a return to the typical Academy schedule and the complex workload it creates, this year has felt unusually hard. Over the past month, the routine concerns of any new school year have been...
A large hallway with a security camera in the foreground. The background is blurred and there are two people walking away.

Facial Recognition on Campus, Friend or Foe?

Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? Facial recognition surveillance might be one reason why. The Electronic Frontier Foundation defines facial recognition as “a method of identifying or verifying the identity of an individual using their face.” To put it simply, when a computer program compares an image of someone’s face with a database of other photos and tries to find a match, that’s facial recognition. This rapidly developing technology represents security and convenience to some and...

Op-Ed: Bingham to Wilcox, Telling The Whole Story

In her TED Talk The Danger of a Single Story, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie suggests that “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.” Punahou School exercises significant control over the stories of people who have played roles in the school’s history and, more broadly, the history of colonialism in Hawaii... As illustrated in the following passages, while the perspective shared by Punahou may be one story, it isn’t the only story of these people and their actions.

Op-Ed: Time To Do Something Real

This is a wake-up call. You’ve seen the news – police and state violence, systemic anti-Blackness and other forms of oppression, the so-called United States’ rapid slide towards fascism. Maybe you’ve even posted about it on your Instagram story, but what have you actually done? What actions have you taken to make a real-world impact on your community, on anyone other than yourself? How often have you woken up and genuinely created change? Decades from now, as we grow old, children will ask...

Desecration on Mauna Kea: Progress or Privilege?

On Hawai’i Island last Wednesday morning, 34 people were arrested and cited with “obstruction of a government operation”. Their crime? Peaceful protest against the construction of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope observatory on Mauna Kea, a mountain that is considered sacred land by the native Hawaiian people. TMT, as the observatory is known, has been controversial in the state of Hawaii for years. While the members of the organization supporting the construction...

Here's Why Straight Pride is Discriminatory

One single recent Facebook post about a planned “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston has caused massive internet backlash and spawned many arguments. Posted just in time for the beginning of June, which is LGBT+ Pride Month, the proposal is clearly a deliberate slap in the face to the LGBT+ community and its allies. Amid allegations that parade planners are linked to racist and anti-Semitic organizations, it’s important to take a look at the bigger picture. Why is the idea of straight pride...

Gender in Sports Needs to be Redefined

Mokgadi Caster Semenya is a name we probably all know after a fiery scandal divided the internet, scientists, and even sports regulators. Semenya is a South African track athlete who had already been repeatedly crucified in the media for her alleged intersex characteristics. Recently the issue surfaced again and she was barred from running in most events 800 meters and below. For the time being, it looks as though the International Association of Athletics Federations (the regulatory body for...

Title VII: No Longer A Barrier For LGBT+ Discrimination?

Title VII is a section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. This act has very few exceptions, and has grown in importance over the years since it was put in place. On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that in three upcoming cases it will make a decision as to whether or not the Title VII law bans discrimination against LGBT+ employees in the U.S. workforce. The current Supreme Court has a conse...

The Slow Burn: Peak Indifference, Climate Change, And The End Of The World As We Know It

Our planet is warming up at an alarming rate, and evidence clearly shows that humans are at the root of this drastic and dangerous change. According to NASA, ice melt rates in the Antarctic have tripled in the past decade, while nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005. We are at a point where it is virtually impossible for anyone to deny that there is a problem, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve won. The opposite is true — it will be harder now than ever before to get the...

Bound To Happen: The Changing Role of America's Public Libraries

Do kids even go to the library anymore? It’s easy to assume that the relevancy of public libraries in America would diminish in the age of memes, Fortnite and information whenever and however you want it. However, that is not the case at all. Libraries are rapidly changing from stuffy, quiet rooms run by strict librarians to unique, high-tech and efficient centers for community and resources. The archetype of a library is a one-story building with just a few rooms, maybe near a school or a fire...