Occasionally, we like to shine the spotlight on Wilson High School’s student newspaper, The Beacon. The students’ reporting hits on topics in the news (such as DACA in the September 2017 issue above) as well as wholly-original discoveries and investigations.
The Beacon’s print edition is supplemented by thewilsonbeacon.com. Here, in the past two months, we’ve discovered some terrific student journalism. Just a few examples:
“Insufficient maintenance and lack of communication afflict school facilities”: In bathrooms, locker rooms and hallways, a Beacon investigation found dozens of items in need of repair; a shortage of replacement supplies; an overworked and understaffed custodial crew; and on the part of students, vandalism, misuse and overuse by the thousands who’ve attended the school in the six years since the $115 million Wilson renovation.
“Honors for All initiative proving successful”: Wilson Principal Kimberly Martin opened honors English and biology to all freshman this school year after making discovering during her first year that Wilson’s diversity did not extend to the classroom. “I would go into a classroom and realize, ‘there’s shockingly only white students in this classroom,'” Martin told The Beacon. “Then I’d run to the next classroom and it’d be all Black and Latino. We have classrooms that are segregated by race. Nobody prepared me for that.”
“Ballou investigation prompts policy change”: A followup article on a WAMU and NPR investigation that found about half of the graduating class at Ballou High School did not meet attendance requirements. DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson spoke to The Beacon policy changes resulting from the WAMU report and the District’s own investigation. “Graduation rates should be a reflection of hard work and effort,” he told the newspaper.
“It all began with Nancy Drew: the adventures of Pamela Lipscomb-Gardner”: Nancy Drew may have sparked this Wilson librarian’s love of reading, but she has her own fascinating story to tell. Lipscomb-Gardner was part of the class that integrated Alice Deal Middle School in 1968.