China can’t take a joke

Story by: Carly McWilliams, staff writer
Photo by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer


China caused a controversy this past April 1 when their state media declared a ban on April Fools jokes.

The news agency Xinhua announced through social media that “‘Fools’ Day’ is not consistent with our cultural tradition or socialist core values. We hope you will not believe, create, or spread rumors.”

Many replies to the post were humorous, some even mocking. One user commented that the announcement was “the funniest thing today,” while another even said, “The most amusing ‘April Fools’ news is that Xinhua is seriously saying ‘don’t believe rumours’.”

Within hours, the post had been shared over 8,600 times. After receiving the uproar of responses, Xinhua blocked all comments and shares on their post.

ISTEP stress

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor
Photo by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer


ISTEP, who could imagine that five simple letters could cause so much stress? The ISTEP test has made a reappearance in high schools across Indiana.

Freshmen and sophomores, even sophomores who had previously taken the ECA, had to take the ISTEP test the week before spring break. However, the scores were not counted for students who have taken, and passed the ECA. Sophomores that have not taken the ECA will take both the ECA at the end of the semester and ISTEP in both March and April.  

“I think it’s ridiculous that we had to take the ISTEP again,” said Zoe Jackson, 10. “I thought we were finished with that in like the 7th grade.”  

For the past year, many Indiana lawmakers have tried to replace current standardized testing with a cheaper, generic version in order to save money.

“A bill just passed that has cancelled ISTEP after next year (2016-2017 year). It will be replaced by something eventually but that is unclear at this moment,” said MVHS counselor, Jamie Beaver.

The Indiana Board of Education has plans to eliminate the ISTEP test within the next two years and replace it with a new test, the nature of which is undecided. According to, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz has proposed reshaping the state testing system so students would take a series of shorter tests that could be combined into a final yearly score.

Choose kind all week

Story by: Claire Dorsch, Features Editor
Photo by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer

choose kind

One of the weeks that Student Government sponsors throughout the year at Mt. Vernon is Choose Kind Week. This year it lasted from Feb 29 through March 4. On Monday the 29th, a special guest was invited to give an inspirational speech for Choose Kind Week. Kevin Wanzer has been a motivational comedian for over thirty years. The Mt. Vernon Education Foundation allowed Kevin to give one of his more popular speeches to MVHS because Emily Fleming, 12, wrote a grant to the MVEF.

I feel like the convocation was inspiring and relatable,” said Hailey Davidson, 9. “Kevin Wanzer made it funny and easy to learn what it means to truly be kind, and to understand what it means to be kind. I believe that the convocation was very empowering.”

Kevin was enjoyed by all that attended, and it is all thanks to Emily Fleming.

“He was an incredible speaker and the moment I looked onto the crowd and saw everyone truly engaged, I knew that he needed to come to Mt. Vernon,” said Fleming. “I was then lucky enough to go back to the camp the following year and heard him again. So, this year I wanted to make it happen. I started talking to Miss Naum, the guidance intern, and she absolutely loved the idea. After contacting Andrea from the MVEF, I think it was a done deal.”

Tuesday was a day to pledge to Choose Kind, Wednesday the StuGov placed meaningful quotes on every locker in the school, Thursday was the placement of kindness zones around the building and Friday was high fives all around.