Dance Team Champions

By Simone Archer-Krauss

This Friday, March 27th, the Roosevelt High School Dance and Drill Team, the Riderettes, took first in the WIAA 1A/2A/3A state championships for hip-hop. This is the first time in the teams six year competition history that they have taken first at state. Previously, the closest they have come was 7th place. The team can’t be more excited about their win, especially because last year at state they received a disappointing deduction for the content of their music, which dropped them down to 18th place. The team was moved to tears when their win was announced. After putting in hard work with three hour practices four times a week since January, the team was gratefully that it all paid off with a huge win for the Riderettes. If you would like to see their performance there is a video below or you can visit the NFHS website, search for “Washington”, and then pick the “Dance” filter and watch the entire competition with the creation of a free account. The Riderette’s piece starts around 1 hour and 49 minutes in sets 6-9. With their competition season over, the dance team is preparing for their showcase performance on April 24th at 8pm. The showcase is in the Roosevelt theatre. Tickets are $10 for RHS students and staff, $12 for others, and $15 at the door. Come out and support Roosevelt’s newest state champs!

The dances can be viewed here:




Indiana-Religious Freedom Compromised?

By Clara Raftery

A new piece of legislation signed in Indiana in late March by Republican governor Mike Pence has caused large-scale controversy and opposition in the past few weeks. Called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law states that the government is not allowed to ‘impose’ itself onto an individual’s ability to follow their religious beliefs, and if it does have a reason to do so, it must interfere in the “least restrictive” way possible. This has caused outrage amongst many communities, in Indiana and otherwise, because the law is believed to justify legal discrimination against the LGBT+ community. However, Pence himself has claimed that the law is not a “license to discriminate”, and only serves as protection for citizens under state law. He stated that the RFRA “only provides a mechanism to address claims”, and not a “license for private parties to deny services.”  Some who support the law point out that the law is simply replicating the federal law protecting religious freedom effective in 20 states, but those opposed retaliate saying that the Indiana law extends to cushion private companies, and opens new opportunities for discrimination not only on an individual level, but on a corporate one as well.

Resistance has snowballed in various social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the #BoycottIndiana and similar slogans have been shared by several public figures, such as George Takei, Tim Cook (the CEO of Apple), and Jeremy Stoppelman (the CEO of Yelp). Throughout Indiana there have been marches and rallies against the law, and various municipal groups, companies, and state governments are threatening to cut off any business partnerships with the state. Salesforce, a tech company rooted in San Francisco, has decided to diminish its business investments in Indiana, and is refusing to send employees out to work in the state. The National College Athletic Association expressed unease over the issue, as the men’s basketball Final Four was scheduled to commence in Indianapolis. The organization assured the public that its affiliates would do all they could to assure that athletes and fans would not be affected adversely by the law. The LGBT Sports Coalition, however, did not feel that equality would be guaranteed at any sporting event based in Indiana, especially for LGBT+ individuals planning on participating or attending. The group singled out various events to be relocated, including the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four basketball tournament, scheduled for next year. Similarly, supporters of the LGBT Athletic Association also commented on the legislation, asking for all sporting events occurring in Indiana to be moved to other locations. This issue continues to run at the forefront of equality activism efforts, especially as similar laws are passed in other states. Indiana’s controversy has been echoed in the recent verification of a religious freedom bill in Arkansas, which was passed apprehensively by Republican governor Asa Hutchinson, who feared receiving a response similar to Indiana’s. Indiana’s law, while having been expected by governor Pence to receive little criticism, has garnered mass denunciation that shows no sign of slowing as the country rallies for the advancement of equal rights.

What’s Up With the SBAC?

By Karinna Gerhardt

Next week, 11th graders will kick off a new era of standardized testing at Roosevelt with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, commonly known as the SBAC. Sophomores completed their own week of testing yesterday.

Misinformation has been flying over this controversial new test, along with a severe lack of clarity over the reasoning behind giving the SBAC to junior classes who have already met state graduation requirements with the HSPE in sophomore year. This is the first year that standardized tests will be administered to Roosevelt juniors.

On the official Smarter Balanced website, the SBAC is touted as being able to “accurately describe both student achievement and growth of student learning in English and math.” The test apparently measures success by having students solve “real world problems” on an online interface. The difficulty level shifts according to previous answers – however, it remains unclear how final scores are accurately calculated when every student experiences a different level of difficulty.

The SBAC will replace the HSPE in the years to come; beginning with the class of 2019, the SBAC will be administered only to 11th graders and the HSPE will be phased out.

Both the ELA and Math sections of the test are estimated to take three to four hours to complete – in total, 6-8 hours of testing. According to projections from their field test of 4.2 million, Smarter Balanced expects almost 70% of students who take the SBAC will fail to meet standards. That number rises to 90% for students enrolled in special education programs.

The state is requiring all districts to administer the SBAC to high school juniors; however, juniors are not required to take the test if they have have already met standards with the HSPE. To opt out, fill out the form linked below and turn it in to the counselors office before the end of the day on Friday, 4/3.

Opting out:

Coughs Get No Respect

By Gina Rangel-Gross

Literally the Most Flawless Angel of Awesomeness Ever. Trust Us On This One. She’s Perf.

Sneezes seem to have won the lottery when it comes to involuntary, expulsionary bodily functions: They are more dainty, more discreet; they are less dangerous to yourself and others; they, most of the time, project minimal mucus; they garner attention and praise. But at the expense of what else? As body havers, It’s time that we took a look at the privilege that sneezes have and have always had throughout the body (which we help perpetuate). It’s time that someone took a stand for the other functions, the ones that people consider “gross” or “frightening”. Sneeze supremacy has spent long enough dominating our bodily narrative — I demand that coughs get some respect for once.

Coughs are the accompanying function to sneezes; a sneeze expels debris from the nose airway, and coughs expel debris from the lungs. You would think that since they do essentially the same thing and play very similar roles in our everyday lives, that they would be regarded with equal respect. Right? Well… wrong. Sneezes get a person’s blessings, thoughts, attention, and even compliments when they are cute enough (and there are a lot of cute sneezers out there).  Coughs get NOTHING, except maybe contempt, and sneezes don’t even have half the gall that coughs do. Sneezes have never gone through the struggles that coughs have. Have you ever sneezed until you died? Have you ever sneezed up blood and had to go to the hospital? No. Coughs, just because they are less “pleasant” than sneezes, get belittled disregarded even though they work harder to keep us healthy and breathing than sneezes ever will.

Coughs are the warriors of our internal system and I will fight for their rights until I am on my deathbed, probably from tuberculosis. Their abrasive sound and presence may not be “nice” enough for you all, but you just have to toughen up and face the facts that coughs are just as cool as sneezes are cute. They are more hardcore, important, and helpful to us than the sneeze. Who cares if something’s up your nose? No one. Who cares if something’s down your lungs? EVERYONE. Coughs are so powerful that they can even make you throw up a little sometimes, but that just shows their commitment to saving our lives. Coughs would go through any risk to keep us safe. Doesn’t matter if it’s pretty or not, they are just here for business. Meanwhile, what happens when you sneeze too hard? Projectile snot? It’s not helpful or wanted, sneeze. You’re not contributing anything. Sneezes’ (frankly, undeserved) praise needs to stop. Why does the sneeze, of all things, make people give you blessings? People should be sending you good thoughts when you cough and hope that you don’t choke and DIE. Coughs warrant respect, but even just the common decency of a response would bring coughs to a more well deserved elevation than the disgraceful silences and erasures that they receive. Even when you yawn somebody bothers to yawn back to you! So, it’s unacceptable. Officially, I am taking a stand as a Coughs Rights Activist, and I urge you, too. Let’s not stop until we get justice.


By Anika Utke

Shorts Game on Fleek

The world has faced many cruel and cunning dictators in the past, such as Hitler, Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, that one guy from Blue’s Clues, Mao Zedong, Bill Nye the science guy, and, of course Mickey Mouse. Even with these cruel oppressors, none have been able to match the villainy of Roosevelt’s very own dictator: Principal Brian Vance.


The ninja spies from the Roosevelt news have reported that over break, Vance began his transformation into a world class dictator by participating in unhealthy marathons of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and nostalgic Nsync karaoke with his cats. Our sources collecting intel from his microwave report Vance as saying, “I would never have chosen this lifestyle if it weren’t for Justin. Despite the restraining order debacle of 2008, Justin has just helped me through so much in my life. It might not be common knowledge, but every Tuesday evening I ease my stress by caressing a photo of Justin’s beautiful ramen noodle curls. One Tuesday I just came to this epiphany that his power and fame wasn’t a result from his successful run from The Mickey Mouse Club and the greatest boy band in existence. It was his hair. As a fellow curly hair survivor, I realized I could have all the power I wanted if I unleashed the hair.”


His original attempt to improve his hair game was at the beginning of the school year after he grew a goatee. Instead of giving him powers of enslavement amongst humankind, Roosevelt students were mean to him and pushed him into nearby garbage cans. According to an eyewitness, Mike Rotch, Vance began to cry for his beloved Timberlake in the garbage can until his tears evolved into lasers and fireworks shooting out of his skull. It has officially been two weeks since the beginning of Vance’s takeover and in that time he has already mailed a student to Peru for missing a homework assignment, authorized a required séance for Timberlake every Wednesday, patrolled the sidewalk across the school with rodents of unusual size, and even changed the way teachers are allowed to educate the students.


“It was terrifying,” Bawled one emotional sophomore, Hugh Jaynis, “Mr. Vance just stormed into the class and made Ms. Nand take fifty points from our house! Then he pushed a girl down the stairs and broke both of her legs. He even signed her cast with a really bad doodle of some ramen noodle kid.”


Before the interview could finish, Vance jumped out of a garbage can and ordered a toga clad Mr. Marenstein and Mrs. Mackoff—his curly haired henchmen—to throw the student out of the nearest window. He proceeded to laugh while throwing curly locks of hair confetti that he stole from the seniors. Roosevelt freshman Peggy Piper Pippenstock wore a “Backstreet Boys” t-shirt to school last Wednesday. No one has seen her since.


“I wouldn’t consider myself a dictator at this school. Sure, the students are no longer allowed to leave and I’ve sentenced a few to death for drinking tea, but I’m not a dictator. I just have a lot of ideas to make this school the best it can be.” Vance explained in an interview, pausing now and then to adjust his cape and bedazzled crown.


Vance declared that soon, every student would be required to have curly blond hair and all music aside from Nsync would be banned.


The 2018 Winter Olympics

By Nate Sanford

Surprisingly Tall

After much anticipation and debate, the host nations for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games have finally been chosen.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) made the official announcement at a press conference in Sochi last Tuesday. According to the IOC, the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The decision comes after months of intense speculation. Other potential hosts included the Vatican City, Pyongyang, and Atlantis. Eric B. Ribe, head chairman of the IOC, says he is confident the committee has made the right choice. “Though we were presented with a wide variety of difficult choices, the committee and I are pleased with our selection. My grandfather, who served as president of the committee during the late 1930s, taught me everything I need to know about choosing host countries for The Olympics. There is no need to worry.”

B. Ribe says that the decision to hold the next Winter Olympics in Saudi Arabia was primarily driven by humanitarian reasons. “We chose to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, but that was obviously a mistake. Their discriminatory policies against the LGBT community, suppression of freedom of the press, etc. angered many activist groups. That’s the primary reason why we choose Saudi Arabia as our next host. We hope that this will be a less controversial choice.”

King Salman of Saudi Arabia says he is very excited for the upcoming winter games. “My nation has a long history of hosting winter sporting events, we look forward to ensuring athletes a safe and happy experience.” In preparation for the games, King Salman has changed a law, which bans females from driving. Females are still prohibited from operating motor vehicles, but for the duration of the Olympics, women will be granted permission from the government to operate bobsleds and Zambonis.

Construction of the venue has already begun in Saudi Arabia. Several hundred tons of snow has been shipped in from mountains around the world. The total cost is expected to exceed the cost required to end world hunger, but King Salman says he is confident it will be worth it in the end.

Even though the next Olympics are more than a year away, B. Ribe says that the IOC has already started looking at future cities. “Nothing is permanent yet,” he says, “but for 2020, think tropical.”

Documentary about Roosevelt classroom released online

by Noah Foster-Koth

Last November I wrote an article for the print edition of The Roosevelt News called “Unearthing the treasure chess-t: Roosevelt’s underground chess-playing community revealed.” The article described the chess group that Roosevelt social studies teacher Jibril Rashid hosts in his classroom during second lunch.

Mr. Rashid approved of my article and requested that I expand it into a short documentary about his classroom. Four months later, I finished the documentary, which I titled ”Chowing Down with Chess: The Story of Jibril Rashid’s Lunchtime Chess Group.” Several of the students interviewed in the original article also appear in the film, including Zach Rodan, Fredrik Hernqvist, and Joel “Sijay” Musafiri, not to mention Mr. Rashid himself. There are also several new student interviews in ”Chowing Down with Chess” that did not appear in the original article.

The documentary can be viewed here.

“Chowing Down with Chess” is not a product of The Roosevelt News. However, it depicts the culture of a classroom at Roosevelt and thus constitutes news about Roosevelt, hence it’s appearance on this website.



GED Drama in Washington State

By Malcolm Roux

In 2014, the GED exam, a test which offered an alternative to a high school diploma, was overhauled, and made significantly harder.  In 2013, the last year of the old exam, 86% of testees passed the exam, earning them an equivalent to a high school diploma; comparatively, only 71% passed in 2014.  However, this is not the area the new exam is having the most effect. The gross numbers of people taking the exam drastically dropped from a whopping 18.5 thousand to a dismal 2.8 thousand.

Although most agree that the old GED exam did not mimic the skills learned in today’s high schools, many thought this change came too quickly. The pure numbers show that a much smaller base of people even feel confident enough to take the exam, and those who do take it pass at a lower rate.  Additionally, this disadvantages those who are seeking their GED certificate now as opposed to only two years ago.

Proponents of the new GED see the change as long over due.  ”At the core of it we had to ask, ‘Does the GED actually measure what a high school diploma would provide?’” asks Dr. Bob Hughes of Seattle University, interviewed my King 5 News, “I don’t think anybody, with the old GED, would have said that it did that.”  This point often comes up during the discussion of the GED. The old GED was simply not comparable to a high school diploma, and it was affecting certificate holders after their examination.

“It didn’t hold the same way it used to,” explained CT Turner, spokesman for the GED Testing Service as quoted by the Seattle Times.  As those who passed the GED continued to university and other higher education, they were often forced to take remedial corses which do not count toward a degree, courses that the vast majority of high school students have already passed.  Those organizing the GED did not see the logic in making students spend hard earned tuition on courses that should be learned before one receives a high school diploma.

Turner continued to explain that even employers were seeing drastic differences between those who passed the GED exam and those who graduated high school.  Employers were simply losing confidence in the GED exam. Supporters believe that this discreditation of the GED exam was hurting those who took the test more than an easier test was helping them.

The change has also pushed more students towards alternative ways of getting their high school diploma. A program which pushes prospective graduates to take classes and receive credits for skills learned outside of high school, and eventually resulting in a similar certificate to the one offered by the GED.

Drama Awards

By RHS Drama Teacher Ruben Van Kempen

Congratulations to all the Drama students for their inspirational work at the WA Thespians State Festival.

Roosevelt received a:

  • ·         Superior Trophy for their production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid
  • ·         Gold Trophy for Honor Troupe
  • ·         1st Place Trophy for Broadway Cares/EFA – troupe fundraising
  • ·         2 top highest ranking Medals for duo scene acting:  Larson Eernissee, Brenna Power and Willem Schillings, Elliott Moore
  • ·         Qualifiers for showcase:

o   Monologues:  Larson Eernissee, Chloe Miiller, Esther Powers, Duncan Weinland

o   Duo Scenes: Noah Forster-Koth & Annalisa Brinchmann, Elliott Moore & Willem Schellings, Brenna Power & Larson Eernissee, Esther Powers & Adam Westerman

o   Solo Musical: Ester Powers, Annika Prichard, Ava Yaghmaie

Cleveland Shooting

By Anika Utke

In the Seattle School District, some students have been forced to experience tragic losses at a premature age. On March 14, a student at Cleveland High School, senior Robert Robinson Jr., was killed. Police reported hearing gunshots on Beacon Hill at around 4 pm on Sunday. The case was categorized as a hit and run with the only connection to the perpetrator being a blue Honda. Robinson was found with a gunshot wound after walking near South Forest Street and 15th Avenue South, less than two miles from the high School. Witnesses in the area recall hearing two gunshots. Robinson was being transferred to Harborview Medical Center, but died on the way there.

He wasn’t identified until the morning after when his family recognized Robinson’s clothes lying on the ground on TV and knew he was late to arrive home. Police are still searching for the shooter and as of now have no evidence. Currently the hit and run isn’t being seen as a result of gang violence or a race crime, but as the police hunt down the shooter they will also search for the motive behind Robinson’s tragic death. The South Precinct Commander, Captain David Proudfoot recognized that in just the last month there had been 19 shootings.

Cleveland sent out a letter to students and their families on March 16 to help students through any grief they may be feeling and offer up the services of the counselors. The letter, in part, read:

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the tragic news that one of our students, was killed yesterday afternoon in a shooting,” the administration addressed “As a community, I know we will come together to not only support our students’ family members, but work to ensure our larger community is a safe place for us to live, learn and work.”

Last Thursday Cleveland hosted a vigil in Robinson’s memory for those wishing to honor his memory.

High school is a time where teenagers are forced to be exposed to the real world before adulthood. Unfortunately, untimely deaths have become part of what some students are lead to face. For high schoolers, most would not have a much exposure to death. Many will not know how to mourn and grieve while still being expected to do well in school and carry on with their lives. Though different experiences and different events led to the loss of life now mourned by Seattle communities, it is important to recognize the tragedy that still exists and think kindly for his friends and family suffering through this dark time.