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Joke of the Issue: "This is so unfair. I got expelled for plagiarism! Why should I get in trouble for something I didn't do?"

Kids Need Backpacks Back!

By Anna S.

February, 2022   


Did you know that before 2020, JJMS students had never carried their backpacks around to their classes before?  Ever since the school was built in 1968, students always had to use their lockers to store their notebooks and papers.  

But with COVID-19, because the lockers were so close to each other and the school was trying to practice social distancing, the school did not allow them to use their lockers and had kids carry their backpacks around to their classes instead. Students liked that! 

However, starting this past January, the school started to force students to use their lockers again and not allow them to carry their backpacks around anymore. Unfortunately, this decision was not only bad for kids, but also bad for the Earth! 

Though no one realized it would become a problem, not using backpacks, it turns out, creates more plastic waste. Since COVID-19, the water fountains have been closed out of fear of spreading the virus.  So instead, they made available water coolers around the school that use plastic cups.  But if students did not want to use the plastic cups, they were allowed to carry reusable water bottles.  It was easy to carry their water bottles because their books were tucked away in their backpacks.

Now, without being able to use their backpacks, students must carry their heavy water bottles along with all of their other books.  Trying to manage all of that is difficult, and students may ditch their water bottles and just start using the plastic cups, instead. There are over 600 kids in the middle school, and if most kids use the cooler multiple times throughout the day, then more than 1,000 plastic cups could be used and thrown out per day.   And because most of the plastic cups do not get recycled, that could lead to a thousand more cups a day going to landfills, which is really bad for the Earth and us.

But plastic cups are not the only thing that might wind up in a landfill.  Taking their backpacks away also will lead to more electronic waste getting thrown out.  Without backpacks, there is a greater chance students can drop the things they have to carry from class to class, and that includes our iPads. 

Most kids have a binder that holds papers but is not quite big enough to fit everything, and so many kids are just carrying their iPads outside of their binders.  It is hard for students to carry a lot of loose items, and sometimes some of them can slip and fall, including iPads.  Furthermore, accidents where two kids bump into each other happen all the time in the hallways, and there have been accidents where people’s iPads have fallen.  Sometimes when the iPads falls, it can get severely damaged.  The school will usually replace it for the student, but much of the broken iPad will have to be thrown out. 

In conclusion, although COVID-19 has been difficult, having backpacks had benefited, not only kids, but also the environment.  Backpacks kept both plastic cups and iPads out of landfills.  This is important because the Earth’s health is precarious, and we need to do every little thing we can to save it.   

On a side note, there is another lesson to be learned here, and that is that without this awful pandemic, we would have never known the environmental benefits of backpacks, teaching us that sometimes unfortunate circumstances can help us see good things that we never did before. 

What in the Worldle?

By Redmond M. 

March, 2022

Everyone has heard of Wordle, the new game that is sweeping the nation. But have you heard of WORLD-LE, (as in the World.) Well, if you’re looking for a game to play while you are waiting for the next Wordle, Worldle is a geography game. In this game, you are presented with the outline of a country or territory and have to guess what it is, just by the outline. Your score is measured in kilometers from the country of the day, and every time you make another guess, it tells you how close you are and what direction you need to be moving in. For all of you Geography enthusiasts – or anyone looking for a challenge – check it out!

Here is the website:


Teachers Were Once Middle School Students, Too!

Collected and Edited By Parker Whitney

June, 2021

It’s hard to be a middle schooler.  There’s homework stress; balancing school, home life, and extra curricular activities; trying to fit in or find your place with your peers; and living up to other people's expectations of you.  Sometimes, we think that adults have no idea what we are going through.  But, when we think about it, they were middle schoolers once, too.   

So, the Purple Press decided to ask teachers to share their middle school photos so that we could see that they really were once just like us. So, take a look and see if one of YOUR teachers submitted a photo.  

Thank you to all of the teachers that contributed.  We hope that by seeing how amazing all of you turned out, it will assure us that we will be fine, too.