Letter from the Online Editors: November 2020

Left+to+right%3A+Managing+Editor+Matt+Mande%2C+Managing+Editor+Jocie+Mintz+and+Editor-in-Chief+Taylor+Habor

Charlie Sagner

Left to right: Managing Editor Matt Mande, Managing Editor Jocie Mintz and Editor-in-Chief Taylor Habor

By Matt Mande, Taylor Haber, and Jocie Mintz

On March 13, most students believed the two to five week school break would be just that: two to five weeks. 

Yet here we are, nearly nine months and two marking periods later. Students’ academic circumstances look just the same as they did when MCPS suspended in-person learning. While our situation has stood still, however, the world clearly hasn’t. 

The coronavirus continues to ravage our community and our country, and a path out of this pandemic remains unclear. Through it all, students have remained resilient and optimistic even in the face of adversity. In their free time, they’ve founded businesses, reconnected with a love for sports and, in this newfound virtual landscape, discovered the thrills of online gaming.

Through advocacy, those looking for answers questioned MCPS officials over the county’s response to sexual misconduct. Through politics, our own writers urged progressives to rally around the moderate challenger in the leadup to a presidential election. Even at the school building itself, where the desolate hallways and empty classrooms are a reminder of the day’s realities, Whitman’s arts teachers adapted their traditionally hands-on courses for a virtual audience.

We at The Black & White Online have closely examined pressing social issues within Montgomery County, highlighting the funding disparities between Whitman and low-income schools and encouraging county officials to take action to promote diversity. 

A global pandemic puts an emphasis on staying put — on keeping indoors, on taking the necessary precautions and doing the sensible thing for the good of the neighborhood. Yet, even as we journalists reckon with safety protocols and an overall lack of social activity, we continue to do what we know best: shed light on our active community.

These first few months of the school year have demonstrated that even while the circumstances are challenging, some will always find an opportunity to press forward. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure that we meet those challenges. 

We realize that after being cooped up indoors for so long, the headlines all seem to blend together. That’s why we try to report on stories that stand out. The budding sports journalist hosting interviews with seasoned professionals to better understand the industry he idolizes. The Lebanese student who took a stand and donated to her home country after a devastating explosion. The group of friends who bonded over the summer with an interstate cycling trip. 

Even if our lives have come to a screeching halt — student journalism will not.

 

Taylor Habor, Editor-in-Chief

Jocie Mintz, Managing Editor

Matt Mande, Managing Editor