Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Here to Stay: Editors review newspaper archives

From a glossary of slang to strong words against censorship, Haven’s newspaper has a rich 40-year history.
Here to Stay Cover Illustration

“Here to Stay,” the theme of this year’s Scholastic Journalism Week, highlights the importance of student journalism in schools all over the world.

The Panther Press has worked to inform Strath Haven students about local and global issues as well as document important events and trends over the last 40 years.

As we look back through old print issues of the school’s paper, events from four decades are recorded along with entertainment columns that showcase the essence of the paper over time.

OCTOBER 14, 1983

Editorials in Oct. 14, 1983 edition

In the first-ever edition of The Panther Press at Strath Haven High School after Swarthmore High School and Nether Providence High School merged, the editorial board chose to write a column reviewing the beginning of Strath Haven’s founding school year. They discussed the great start to the school year and stated that they hope “it will maintain its swift pace.”

MATTEO: I like that they reviewed the school. It gives the new administration a morale boost that could have helped them improve the new school even more.

SASHA: We did something like this at the beginning of the year. For the first issue, I think it’s a great way to start off. A good introduction to the year; making a statement.

Also in the first edition, 40 years ago: A second editorial that describes the conflict between classes that meet during “ninth period”—think fifth block, like chorus and band—and clubs, activities, and publications that also need to meet during this time.

We think the loud ‘pop’ in the corner of the classroom was our adviser’s head exploding when she read this column, and we haven’t seen her since.

October 14, 1983 Editorials

EDITORIAL: SHHS Off to Good Start

Strath Haven is finally here, yet it seems to be just like any year. One would expect the first year in a merged school to be shaky and unpredictable, but the absence of such effects indicates that all the time, effort, and preparation which went into construction have paid off.

Busing has turned out well, and the 3:00 run after the activity period is a good idea since many students have ninth period commitments. Also, the later buses are helpful for those on athletic teams who do not live within walking distance of the school.

Sports seem to be functioning smoothly even though we have entered the more competitive Central League. The girls' varsity hockey team has a strong record, having allowed only one loss. The tennis team also appears quite promising and is winning many matches. Strath Haven sports teams have and shall continue to succeed through the unified efforts of their members.

The renovations of the new library make it more useful and informative. Such aspects as the new resource room, copy machine, future computer, and typing areas are privileges for students to utilize.

Another new opportunity is the three week exchange program to France. This exciting activity promises to be one that students will enjoy and remember.

Strath Haven is off to a good start, and with much determination and a little luck, it will maintain its swift pace.

EDITORIAL: Ninth Period Classes Cause Conflicts

Most would agree that the creation of Strath Haven High School has been executed on a highly professional level and in a very smooth fashion. Nevertheless, the adoption of a ninth period class activity period has fostered an unfair situation for many students.

Currently, the ninth period, during which most students have no class, is when almost all meetings are held. Clubs, activities, and publications are organized and worked on during this time.

Students who have a scheduled class during ninth period are those in chorus, band, and a handful of science labs. Since these are regular classes in which attendance is. mandatory, students in them find it difficult, if not impossible, to participate in activities and clubs. To add insult to injury many teachers haven't been informed of the status of the ninth period class and often ask, "Can't you get out of it?"

It is unfair that members of the ninth period classes are restricted in such a fashion. In the future the band and chorus, which appear to be improvements upon their pre-Strath Haven counterparts, could lose members if they continue to meet during ninth period.

Creating a minority of students who are restricted in such a way is unfortunate. The administration should consider the unfairness of the present schedule when looking toward future years.

OCTOBER 14, 1983

‘To Whom It May Concern’ in Oct. 14, 1983 edition

Also in the first edition, a reporter chose to write a comical story about ‘Smurf Day’. It is an entertaining read about a student who goes to lunch and struggles with obtaining his food in the cafeteria because the dining staff was selling Smurfette Burgers.

We have been unable to confirm whether any part of this story is factual.

MATTEO: I found it very funny. I liked the way it was written because it started off as a normal event, and ended as an embarrassing event. We need this.

SASHA: Smurf Day: the kind of story I’d want to read in every issue.

OCTOBER 14, 1983 "To Whom it May Concern"

To Whom It May Concern: ‘Smurf Day’ Hits Cafeteria

Terry Lynch

This is my first column for the school newspaper, and I've discovered it's tough to think of a good subject for an "opener." I would like to start off my journalistic career with the ever-popular scapegoat, the school cafeteria. I will not complain about the quality of the food because I usually do not buy a school lunch. Rather, I will "take aim" at a certain item that most of you probably overlook.

Take, for example, the school lunch menu for September 23, 1983. The entrees that were served, among others, were the "Smurfette Burgers," "Papa Pickle Chips," "Smurfday Cake," and "Gargamille Milk." Now a menu is a menu, but the worst part about the whole affair is that the cafeteria saluted "Smurf Day" by actually serving this happy meal to high school students.

On this rare occasion I was in line to purchase a school lunch and ordered a "burger." The lady behind the counter replied, "A what?"

"We're not selling burgers today," she said quite seriously. I stood and surveyed the situation again, thinking that I had been at fault. But there were genuine hamburgers behind that counter, and I truly was in the mood for a burger. I asked if they were selling those burgers at the next lunch, thinking they may not be for us.

"Those what?" she questioned.

"Those burgers!" I stated emphatically.

"I already told you we're not selling burgers today."

"Then what are those?" I asked, finally pointing, in an attempt to bridge the communication gap.

"Oh, these," she said. "These are Smurfette Burgers."

By this time the line behind me was becoming hostile as they listened in on the conversation. I was having a difficult time holding my own ground as I was being increasingly jostled.

"Yeah," I said. "Gimme one of those."

"One of what?" she replied.

"Those burgers."

"We don't sell bur-," she tried to say, but I knew it was coming.

"One of those Smurfette Burgers," I responded lightly.


"One of those Smurfette Burgers," I muttered.

"A what?"

“SMURFETTE BURGER!" I yelled. I had barely let the last

syllable escape when I realized what I had done. I looked around at the people behind me as they curiously looked back at me.

"Did you hear what he said? He said 'Smurfette Burger.' Only weird people say 'Smurfette Bruger,'" I heard one say.

Facing total embarrassment, I took my Smurfette Burger as the entire cafeteria roared with laughter.

"That's it," I said to myself; "I'm just going to get milk and get out of here."

"Excuse me," said the lady. "We're not selling milk today."

DECEMBER 11, 1987

‘Best and Worst’ in Dec. 11, 1987 edition

In 1987, The Panther Press wrote a best and worst column. In this column, they surveyed the positive and negative aspects of the 1987 school year at Strath Haven. They came up with many subtopics to review, including the best and worst album, the best and worst place to go on a date, and the best and worst day way to reject a date offer.

MATTEO: I like how this column combines comedy and advice. It helps people while still keeping its comedy

SASHA: “While I disagree with some of these takes—for example, getting out of a date with the excuse, “I have to visit my sick aunt”—I think it’d be fun to review the bests and worsts every now and then.”



DECEMBER 11, 1987 "Best and Worst" (Excerpts)



You've finally decided to ask out the girl/guy of your dreams, but how should you do it? The most popular way to ask for a date at S.H. is BY PHONE. Not only is this method the least awkward, it is much easier to handle rejection when you're not face-to-face. Despite this, the second moat-popular way to ask someone out is in person. Students from both groups agreed that the key in asking is to be up-front and honest - NO beating around the bush. You may want to take one student's advice: "Yo, you wanna go?" but don't expect miracles with this technique.


“Well, he said that she said that he told her he wants to know if you’ll go out with him.” We all know the scenario. This method of asking for a date, THROUGH ANY THIRD PARTY whatsoever, is definitely UNCOOL at Strath Haven, according to our student pool. Ask yourself, or don’t ask at all. Another definite date-asking taboo: BEGGING. No one wants to go out with a drooling, slobbering, whining wimp, so keep your composure at all times. Other techniques to avoid: requesting in a note, or uttering the uncool line, “Hey baby, you and me.”



What's the best way for Havenites to turn down that unwanted date? BABYSITTING, an old stand-by, is the excuse of choice among S.H. students, along with the "I'm grounded" plea. Also mentioned was the "I have to visit my sick aunt" excuse, and, of course, there's always the ever-popular "I'm sick" maneuver, but that really only works for last-minute requests. According to our poll, you can't go wrong with any of these choices, unless, of course, you're seen by the asker on the night of your intended date.


Haven students can be pretty heartless when it comes to turning down a date. Among the most often chosen worst date avoiding excuses were "I'M GOING OUT WITH FRIENDS" and the evasive "SOMETHING CAME UP." One Haven student offered the original "I'm taking toilet paper inventory at work" as his worst excuse, and another student suggested that hanging up on the asker (!) was definitely the worst way to turn down a date. In saying "no," show some compassion and try a different date-avoiding tactic.



Once again, U2 (THE JOSHUA TREE) and PINK FLOYD (DARK SIDE OF THE MOON) were favorites. Cat Stevens is another good artist. Cat Steven's Greatest Hits is a great album, even if you do have to wipe the dust off before playing it.


Michael Jackson has done it again: made a terrible fool out of himself. Who would call their own album BAD?? You think after having his hair catch on fire, he’d get the hint. Did he really think it was an accident? Another dud was Nat King Cole’s Christmas Album.

JANUARY 29, 1988

Front page story on Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court Case, Jan. 29, 1988

The Panther Press covered news on the Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court Case, which surrounded issues of censorship in school newspapers. The article discusses how the Hazelwood cases are relevant to Strath Haven and gives examples of student and administrative feedback. Censorship was and still is a prevalent issue for student-run newspaper publications and The Panther Press’s 1988 article focuses on Hazelwood’s impact.

A related editorial in the same issue takes the stance that censorship threatens academic freedom.

MATTEO: I’m glad that The Panther Press covered this topic. It shows how this newspaper used to cover heavy topics with no fear at all.

SASHA: This is a vital story for a newspaper staff to cover. We still discuss the Hazelwood Case now in 2024, so I’m grateful for their coverage of it when it first sparked concern.

JANUARY 29, 1988: "Censorship ruling provokes reaction"

Censorship ruling provokes reaction

"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ... "- The First Amendment to The Constitution

On Wednesday, January 13, The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in favor of administrative censorship rights in public high schools. The ruling extends to high school journalism, dramatic productions, and other school-sponsored activities.

This issue was brought to the Supreme Court by students of Hazelwood East High School in Missouri. In 1983, Principal Robert Reynolds objected to articles written on the subjects of teen pregnancy and the impact of divorce on students. He claimed that the teen pregnancy article didn't properly shield the identity of the pregnant students and was inappropriate reading material. The divorce story, he said, did not give a mentioned father ample opportunity to respond to critical comments made by his daughter. The two pages containing those articles were striken, and three Hazelwood students filed suit.

The Supreme Court's decision in favor of the principal's actions has the potential to seriously affect high school journalism. Opposing Justice William J. Brennan said that the decision sanctioned "brutal censorship," and could convert public schools into "enclaves of totalitarianism that strangle the free mind at its source." Justice Byron R. White, supporting the ruling, argued that "a school must be able to take into account the emotional maturity of the intended audience in determining whether to disseminate student speech on potentially sensitive topics ... "

Students Dissent

Strath Haven is not exempt from this decision, and students and faculty must now concern themselves with the ramifications of the censorship ruling. The majority of students feel that administrative censorship is an infringement of student constitutional rights. Says senior Aimee Soricelli, '' A newspaper is a way of informing people of problems. If such things as teen pregnancy don't get printed, then they're just ignored, but that won't make them go away."

Panther Press staff member and junior Telory Williamson expressed discontent over the judgement. "Adults expect so much of teenagers already, I don't see why they should take away the privileges that we do have. It doesn't seem right that our smaller world should be handicapped while a larger one isn't."

Student Council President Bart Smith was adamantly opposed to the decision and has spoken to the School Board to convey student intolerance of the ruling. Smith claims that the decision "reinforces the undemocratic system that already exists in our school. We are taught about civil rights; we should be allowed to practice them."

Censorship Necessary

A few students, however, view the decision as a necessary limitation in preventing disruptive and unprofessional high school journalism. Senior Peter Wahl feels that "students are minors and they cannot be legally responsible for the things that they write. They should be censored if [what they write] is harmful to the student body or faculty in any way." Peter went on to say, however, that "teen issues should not be censored as long as they do not harm the student body."

Junior Adam Taxin has mixed feelings on this issue. “On one hand I feel that the paper represents the feelings of the students and therefore these feelings should not be censored. On the other hand, the newspaper is sponsored and paid for by the community-supported administration, and therefore it should have some right to censor offensive writings."

The court opinion has also instilled much worry in the hearts of high school newspaper advisors. Mrs. Carol Stanfield had much to say on the issue. "The Supreme Court decision may have a chilling effect on high school newspapers. Editors may avoid controversial topics, and high school newspapers may become bland, public relations pieces. This is a real blow to scholastic journalism."

Dr. King Reassures

So where does the power lie? The Panther Press staff talked to Principal Dr. George King for his comment on the issue. Dr. King believes the decision was necessary for some schools where student/administration communication is lacking. In these schools some kind of intervention is needed to insure responsible journalism. However, Dr. King is quick to add, "I don't think the Supreme Court decision should yield a tool for educators to use in solving their particular problems... education is a much better way to do it."

"As a principal, I have never, ever read a student newspaper before the students have It in their hands and are reading it. I never intend to. This new ruling actually could make the principal the editor of the paper. Well, I just think it's ludicrous ... I don't believe that this ruling could have any effect on our school."

However, the issue is really not that simple. While administrators may have the final say, in point of fact, the power really lies with the community. Says Dr. King, "when the day comes that the community is down on our school board because we’ve published some piece of trash, in their opinion, then we have a problem. We’ve never had that happen.”

But the possibility of such a problem does exist. Issues such as drugs alcoholism, divorce, and politics that the Panther Press have deemed necessary to address, are some of the same ones that the Supreme Court named controversial and potentially harmful to a high ·school student body. Furthermore, the National School Boards Association of which our community is a member, is a strong supporter of the decision, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals has similarly favored the court's opinion.

This may hit closer to home than many of us predict.

JANUARY 29, 1988 Editorial: "Censorship threatens freedom"

Painting the Mona Lisa was no easy task, but if the patron of Leonardo da Vinci had limited his creative involvement in any way, it would have rendered him incapable of creating such a masterpiece.

The same is true in any art form. Freedom of experimentation is vital to a good product, and limitations placed on these expressions result in tawdry, one-sided, and strained results. The Supreme Court does not seem to consider anyone under the age of eighteen an artist worthy of these rights.

This resolution is similar to legalizing racial or sexual discrimination. If an organization is privately owned, it is legal to discriminate because it is comparable to a private home. For example, if a country club is exclusive, it can discriminate on the basis of race or sex. However, if it becomes a public organization, it is funded by taxpayers and thus cannot legally discriminate.

Censorship is similar to discrimination in that a private newspaper's publisher can edit, change, or censor an article if he does not like it or feel that it is appropriate. One would think that because a school newspaper is "for the students," and funded by tax dollars, the students would be able to make decisions concerning their publication.

The Supreme Court resolution legalizing censorship in high schools limits a student's education. The public school system was intended to help us learn more than the fundamentals. One can learn reading, writing, and arithmetic from any source, but true education goes far beyond these three basics.

For example, an editor of the newspaper learns to cooperate, to be responsible, and to stand up for what he or she believes. The assumption is that because the editor was given a position of power, the right tp make certain decisions about the paper, such as what articles are suitable for

publication, would follow.

With the new censorship resolution, an advisor or administrator now might feel the responsibility to step in if they feel an article is touchy, and the editor would be denied the inalienable right of free speech.

Hopefully, controversy over the Supreme Court Decision will inspire feedback and motion. Can we as students sit back and accept this or will it require an actual episode of censorship in our school to motivate the student body? We cannot be apathetic and uninterested in a subject which pertains to our rights.

Although most of us are not Leonardo da Vincis, we need to make sure that the one da Vinci among us has the freedom to create a work without restraints. Without uncensored masterpieces, what would the creator's contribution to society?

DECEMBER 15, 1989

“Fads, facts shaped the decade” in Dec. 15, 1989 edition

“Fads, Facts shaped the decade”, was written in a 1989 edition of The Panther Press. The article showcased features from the eighties and what made the decade what it was. It includes fun facts and vital trends from each year. Some of the notable events were the death of John Lennon and Prince Charles’s marriage to Lady Diana’s marriage, with trends like Pacman, Lasertag, and Madonna’s increasing popularity listed as well.

MATTEO: This is similar to the ‘Year in Review’ that we do now. It contained the interests of anyone because it included world news, games, and music. We do some global events columns in The Panther Press and I believe that we should write more. The only problem is that it is hard for someone to write about a heavy topic in which people have various opinions.

SASHA: Everyone loves a good fad or fun fact…especially me. Why did we stop noting the breaking news events that take over the minds of students the way these events did in 1989? I think discussing important global events and phenomena is as relevant as discussing school issues, especially in terms of student interest. Obviously, we are a school paper, and our main focus is the school and its students, but our job is also to document things that impact the student body besides school. After all, teenagers love their fads.

DECEMBER 15, 1989: "Fads, facts shape the decade"

The 1980's has been a decade chock full of news events, ranging from international tragedies to national embarrassments. In addition, a host of trends, terms, gimmicks, and people have entered into the public spotlight during the past ten years. While some have already slipped into oblivion, others remain with us today.

The following list is composed of the major news events and fads of the 1980's. These things are worth remembering, as they have shaped the decade.

nineteen hundred and eighty

-America wonders who shot J.R.


-Tight designer jeans

-Strawberry shortcake

-John Lennon is murdered

- Lech Walesa founds national union solidarity in Poland

-Mount St. Helens erupts, killing 57 people and causing $2.7 billion worth of damage

nineteen hundred and eighty-one

- Ronald Reagan is sworn in as America's 40th president

-U.S. hostages are released from Iran after 444 days

-John Hinckley attempts to assassinate President Reagan

- Prince Charles and Lady Di get married

-MTV debuts


-Rubik's Cube



-"Totally Awesome!"

nineteen hundred and eighty-two

-Falkland Island conflict arises

- Vietnam War Memorial is dedicated

- Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment fails

-John Belushi dies

-David Letterman becomes popular

-Jane Fonda's Workout spurs the "fitness craze"


-Valley girls

-"Gag me with a spoon"

nineteen hundred and eighty-three

-Korean passenger jet is shot down when it strays into Soviet air space, killing 269

-Terrorists crash a truck filled with explosives into Marine Headquarters in Beirut, killing 260 US marines

-US invades Grenada

-Madonna craze

-Cabbage Patch Kids

-MASH has last episode

-Parachute pants

-Michael Jackson mania

nineteen hundred and eighty-four

-Toxic gas escapes from a Union Carbide plant in India, killing 1700

-Ethiopia is hit with famine

-Los Angeles hosts Summer Olympics

-Trivial Pursuit




-"Where's the beef?"

nineteen hundred and eighty-five

-TWA flight 847 is hijacked by Palestinians

-Bernhard Getz shoots four youths who tried to rob him in a New York subway

-Live Aid raises $8.4 million to help famine-stricken countries

-Dr. Ruth

-New Coke

-Compact Disks

-"You look marvelous"

nineteen hundred and eighty-six

-Spaceshuttle Challenger explodes, killing all 7 astronauts

-Chernobyl nuclear accident

-Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson get married

-Cory Aquino becomes president of Phillipines

-Halley's Comet

-Cosby Show

-Laser Tag

-Heavy Metal

nineteen hundred and eighty-seven

-Dow drops over 500 points on Oct. 19, Black Monday

-Presidential candidate Gary Hart "monkey's around" with Donna

Rice, ruining his political chances

-Pit-bulls terrorized the nation

-Ollie North

-Spuds McKenzie

-California Raisins

-"Isn't that special?"

nineteen hundred and eighty-eight

-Bomb explodes in Pam Am Flight 103 from London to New York, killing 259 passengers

-Earthquake kills 55,000 people in Soviet Armenia

-Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto becomes first woman leader of a Muslim nation


-Oat Bran

-Mike Tyson weds Robin Givens


nineteen hundred and eighty-nine

- Exxon oil tanker spill contaminates Alaskan coastline

-Ayatollah Khomeni dies

-George Bush becomes president

-Protests arise in China starting a wave of reforms

-San Francisco is shaken by a harsh earthquake

-Berlin Wall comes down


-Bottled Water

DECEMBER 15, 1989

“Boo on You Goober” in Dec. 15, 1989 edition

The Panther Press, continuing its review of the decade, lists slang words that shaped the eighties. Phrases like “Boo on You Goober” are coined and put into perspective changes made over the last thirty years. Familiar slang words like “chill out”, “dude”, and “awesome” were just starting out in 1989; meanwhile, we don’t bat an eye at those common words nowadays. How bizarre is that?

MATTEO: This is just comedy. I will be honest: I feel like this was put in The Panther Press just to cover some space. Maybe it was; the column states it is a reprint from 1984. It is a useless article but it is funny. It does also count toward a document that will be seen in the future so that people can see what language was like in 1989.

SASHA: I think it’s funny how teens form slang words, and how we use them in different ways. This article makes a spectacle of the word, “Goober,” meanwhile my friends and I use it to poke fun at each other while also recognizing that it’s out of date. All of the words noted in this article are familiar to me, except I don’t view them as slang–-to me they’re just normal, everyday words. I wonder if the words we use in 2024 will sound as funny to kids 30 years from now as words like “goober” and “gnarly” do to me.

Boo on You Goober

Anya Krugovoy, Lyn McCafferty / Reprint - May 4, 1984

Like, hey man, have ya heard the new Strath Haven slang! All the time words are going in and out of style. Like disco dancing, all things must lead onto a greater place beyond here (Thank God!). In disco's place come the new and somewhat better ideas and language.

Some of the like new current words, like, are like used like three or four times, like, in a sentence, like ya know, like? So some of the cool words are like as follows: ignorant, BOO, massive, psyche, wicked, jam, chill out, seriously goober, home girl, auff!, YO!, dude,

totally awesome, Really?, like hey man, like what's happening, ya know? There are others obviously, but we can't put those in print.

There are some words to the other extreme that are I mean, like really out, ya know! Well as the eleventh commandment says, "Thou shall never use used words or sayings."

So never, I mean never get caught saying things like Gee Whiz!; Golly, Grody, Cool your jets, Goofy, Keen, Geez Louise (with cheese), Buzz off, Mind your own beez wax, Dig it!, and Go jump in a lake.

People might get the wrong idea if you said something like that or maybe the right idea in some cases.

So, if you want to be like massively cool dude, man, don't be an ignorant goober who still says things like, “Geez Louise (with cheese)." Always remember Jam on, Psyche up, and Party till ya drop.

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Matteo Ventresca '25
Matteo Ventresca '25, Managing Editor of Print
Matteo Ventresca is the Managing Editor for Print for The Panther Press. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, as well as playing the trombone.
Sasha Binder '24
Sasha Binder '24, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha Binder is a senior and co-Editor-in-Chief of this year's newspaper. Outside of Panther Press she enjoys dancing, listening to music, and playing with her dog.
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