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The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Editor’s Letter – Alex Cohen

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JiaLi Deck

Initially, I didn’t want to work on this cover. I was a part of the last cover story, “Do We Trust Students?” and I was tired. Working on cover stories requires a lot of organization and time. Plus, this one would be controversial, and I had seen enough onof social media in the prior few weeks to know people would be mad no matter what was published. 

I didn’t think I had anything important to say. 

The Editor-in-Chief, JiaLi Deck, had to spend half a lunch period sitting at one of the blue picnic tables in the quad, convincing me that I had something to say and that people might actually listen. 

And listen, I hope they will. 

At the outset, JiaLi invited some reporters, friends of the publication and classmates to share their personal stories and reactions to the conflict in Israel and Gaza. She had many conversations similar to the one she had with me, inspiring people to bravely chronicle their emotions and experiences surrounding a controversial topic. She was the leader of this story. It became not just a collection of essays, but a passion as she strove to work with us, as writers, to bring to fruition her vision of conversation in print form. She gave us an initial set of guidelines that were intended to   keep essays civil and within the scope of our abilities as a high school publication. 

We all wrote in relative isolation, retreating into ourselves, our families and our communities to find our stories. I spent time interviewing and talking to my maternal grandfather, my Papa, a retired Reform Jewish Rabbi and to my Uncle, a lawyer and lay leader. I wove their ideas and experiences in with my own to craft an essay about the complexities of identity as an American Jew. 

But, writing my essay was a battle. I nearly pitched my laptop across the room at several points and even the dog was a little scared of me. I wrote and rewrote several times. I asked for feedback from many people at school. I even accidentally started some debates in the school library.

Many of the other writers had similar or even more extreme experiences, as the processes of writing and editing their pieces inflamed disagreements with their parents, friends and classmates. People were even added and subtracted from the list of writers due to these conflicts. 

And as the editing process progressed, our period of isolation ended. We began to read and discuss each others’ essays. We spent hours seated on the couches and floors of the journalism offices debating what words and ideas should be included and published in our collection. That was important. It was our collection. Because we were going to face the consequences of it together, it belonged to all of us.

There were a great deal of internal disagreements, particularly over specific words and historical references that we spent time discussing and looking for compromise. JiaLi revised her initial guidelines as our mutual understandings of the conflict and of the purpose of our collection evolved. No solution would make all of us happy, but agreement could be found. 

As writers, we want to emphasize the amount of time, care and attention that went into every detail within this cover story. From the order of the essays, the definitions provided, the photos on the pages, every choice was intentional. The publication of this issue was even delayed so we could ensure we  were doing our journalistic duties with fidelity. Editors were diligent in ensuring that the authenticity of writers’ words, ideas and stories were preserved at every stage. They maintained a constant, clear-eyed focus on the goals of this collection; to foster productive civil discourse while allowing the genuine expression of students’ opinions. 

With the publication of this collection, we hope to promote the same respectful, impactful conversations in the wider community that its creation sparked within our newspaper. We ask you to take the time to read and carefully consider even the opinions and ideas that differ from your own. This conflict will get a lot uglier before anything gets better and this war impacts all of us, in one way or another. 

So, we hope to create a place of conversation in our community. We hope that you will help us. 

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About the Contributors
Alex Cohen, Managing Editor-In-Chief
Alex Cohen is a senior and this is her fourth year on Globe. She joined Globe because her 8th-grade English teacher handed her a copy of the Globe and told her to try it out. This year she is looking forward to her last year of high school and spending time with friends. Her extracurriculars include swim team, water polo and best buddies club. She also loves baking, reading and spending time with her dog, Colby Jack. 
JiaLi Deck, Editor in Chief
JiaLi Deck is a senior. When she first joined the Globe her sophomore year, she couldn't have ever imagined being Editor in Chief; however, as time went on she realized how passionate she is about writing and designing for the Globe. In the past two years, she has gotten to write stories which have made an difference and design pages of a nationally distributed magazine. She is immensely proud to get to lead of such a fantastic publication and she hopes to continue Globe's important mission in her final year on staff. In addition to Globe, JiaLi participates in Speech & Debate and is a 1st company member of the pre-professional dance division at COCA. She is also a commission graphic artist who designs T-Shirts, logos, and other digital projects.
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