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The Fighter

I am pretty thrilled about my topic today, because it is all about my middle daughter, Belle. I don’t call my children or animals by their real names, unless I am pissed at them, I doubt that is even unusual and who cares.

Last night, I went to her end of year journalism banquet. She is a freshman this year, she had to have 3 written recommendation from her eighth grade teachers to be allowed to join the yearbook staff, as a freshman.

This is her second year doing yearbook, she also took it in eighth grade, her middle school is the only one in the state who competes against high schools in journalism. She was given journalism awards for her work in that yearbook last year. She is gifted in English as well as she purchased her own nice camera to practice her photography.

She was awarded the ‘fighter award’ by the editor in chief, last night. This award quotes, “Chloe’s heart, soul and legs went into the making of this book.” LOL

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My daughter has joint problems that are so severe that she went from being a boxer/kick boxer/ mma technique powerhouse and a sprinter that is a vision to behold, running, because she was lightening fast with a beautiful stance, to wheelchair bound, within a five months period of time. We took her to specialists and they told her, “even if we do surgery, you will be in pain, there is nothing we can do.” She was devastated. Even under those conditions of being on pain meds that made her puke and in a wheelchair,  she made it to events to photograph,  she stayed late for deadlines,  all from her wheelchair. She is a fighter. I used to tell people, “my daughter doesn’t just break hearts, she also breaks faces.”  It made me happy to know she could take care of herself in a bad situation.

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This is the yearbook staff of 2014.

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They especially were given a challenge this year, to report the events of 12-13-13 from a journalistic view.

December 13, 2013 a senior student entered her school, Arapahoe High School, armed with a gun and a homemade Molotov cocktail bomb. He attempted to kill multiple students. He set off the bomb in the library alarming the smoke detector. A screaming voice came from the school speaker, “this is not a fire drill, teachers stay in your classrooms!”

Can someone explain to me why shootings seem to happen in or around libraries in these high school shootings?

The student holding his rifle encountered a fellow senior girl by the water fountain in front of the library,  he shot her in the face, after she asked him, “to stop.” He was then encountered by an armed on site security guard at the school, the shooter took his life.

These teams as journalists had to cover this event. They all have PTSD on some level from this happening to them. The entire student body was given homemade, fleece blankets, made to comfort them, many of these journalists sat around computer screens writing in these blankets.  The awards were countless from these exceptional journalists covering the tragedy from a perspective that was respectful, they captured the emotion of the student body, the community, as well the support of countless local high schools support and tributes made to the Arapahoe Warriors.

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The yearbook staff had to rename the original theme due to this event. Beautifully done!

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The newspaper put out a special addition commemorative magazine covering 12-13-13.

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This high school is interesting.  They have an actual affiliation with a  tribe called ‘Arapho’ who live on the Wind River reserve. The school’s mascot is a Warrior to admire the tribe of Arapaho.  The tribe came to the school after the shooting to encourage warrior strength and bless the school.  These visits from the tribe are closed to the public. Only for staff and students.  Pretty cool.

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Belle, was awarded for her work on Special Needs sporting events coverage and alternative student life coverage (homecoming page) as well as the healing page of the yearbook. We are so proud her. I wish she would do my blog for me she is so awesome at layout and design. Watch out for the up and coming photo journalist. 🙂

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