The Harbinger Online

A Letter to the Future Eastonian Editor:


The Eastonian – an underground student-run newspaper that either makes a high school student, or in most cases, breaks them. It makes its debut annually only on Lancer Day.

Walking through the halls, the only thing I seem to see the day the issue is released are friend groups huddled together on either side of the hall, hunched over a small phone screen with “news” that can potentially make a big impact on the well-known names of East.

The girls tend to be shy about it, while the guys playfully shove each other and laugh about  seeing their classmates ripped apart.

I can’t lie. I do laugh at some of the articles in the paper and I try not to think about what it would feel like if they were writing these untrue or overexaggerated things about me. But sometimes I do catch myself thinking about it from the receiver’s perspective and I personally don’t know how I would take it.

Being an underclassmen, I have seen how this paper has directly affected my own friends last year, the incoming freshman this year and those older than me who had been bracing for it throughout their high school career. Though I myself have never been directly impacted by it, I’ve witnessed both those who have taken it as a light joke and those who truly took it to heart. Even though there is only one release date per year, the impact it has on some is lasting and builds on to their reputation or creates one with false rumors.

The writers of the student run newspaper bring it back each year because they know that it’s an East tradition, and I’m not saying that should be broken. But something to consider, for the future grades to come is instead of the “breaking-down-every-girl” feature, maybe a satirical piece about school life that everyone can relate to. Not only would it be a funny tradition to carry on for years to come, but something that everyone could look forward to instead of having the effects on students that it currently does.

Back before it was a way to tear down the confidence of high school students, it was a publication that even the teachers laughed at. Though it wasn’t technically allowed, administration was not as adamant about getting it shut down as they are now. This, all being for a reason as it not just increases absences on Lancer Day, but raises numbers in bullying.

The tradition of the paper could potentially be something we are proud to show other schools and something that allows people to enjoy their well-anticipated Lancer day, without the side effects of seeing their name negatively connotated in a newspaper written by their peers. Maybe some would not think about refraining from going to school on a day that is the “most wonderful time of the year.” It should be that way for everyone. No one should feel like the admission to Lancer Day is to be stripped of their confidence.


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The Harbinger Online Staff

The Harbinger is the exclusive student-run news program for Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, KS. Staffed by approximately 60 dedicated super-students and overseen by adviser C. Dow Tate, the print and online publications have won numerous national awards. The Harbinger is published in print every two weeks and its website edition is updated daily. The website edition includes blogs, live video, photo galleries and stories not published in the ... Read Full »

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