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Jack Trent

An Open Letter to Mohamed Salah: How a Simple Gesture is Combatting Islamophobia

in Miscellaneous/Political Issues by

Dear Mohamed Salah,

In spite of the hate you are unfairly receiving for your Muslim faith, I would like to congratulate your successes this year.  As a fellow soccer player, your skill on the pitch leaves me speechless. I was watching one of your games with my friends, and once you got the ball the room fell silent. We were caught in a trance, watching you weave through City’s defense as if you were playing a video game. Also, taking Liverpool to the Champions League Final and Egypt to the World Cup is an incredible feat! Ballon d’Or candidate and Premiership Player of the Month! You have truly put on a show.

Although most people focus on your wonderful play, I’m more amazed by something else: your celebration.  Anyone who watches Liverpool frequently probably knows it by now: You score, you run to the stands, you cheer with your teammates, then, you jog back to the circle, drop to your knees, raise your hands to the sky, then bow, prostrating yourself to the world.  When you perform this ritual, the crowd seems to go silent, letting you connect with Allah; then you stand up and everyone goes crazy again. This is what should be celebrated.

While Britain is fighting Islamophobia and the amount of hate crimes against Muslims are rising each year, you, a Muslim from North Africa, are unifying England, one goal at a time. Your brave actions in a country that seemingly hates your faith make you a role model to anyone, Muslim or other, who is scared to practice their religion in a non-inclusive environment. However well you perform on the soccer field, nothing will outweigh your influence on Islamophobia in England.  No, I’m not saying that you will suddenly make all Brits tolerant of other religions, but you could play a major role in creating a more accepting England and, by extension, world. All I know is that fans sing songs about you when you take the field, and whether you intend to or not, you are making British Muslims proud and making the world a more inclusive place. Please continue what you are doing. Thank you on behalf of everyone you’ve inspired, on and off the pitch.


Jack Trent

Graphic Design by Jackson Edwards

The Last Fire Drill

in Gun Control by

“Sheesh. I just want this day to be over,” I muttered to myself while walking into my last period math class. The vectors on the board seemed to mock me as I found my seat. Five minutes into the lecture, a screeching noise emitted from the walls. A fire drill — my saving grace. Although I thought it was strange, considering we had a fire drill the day before, I didn’t ask questions. As my class walked outside, I couldn’t help but think that some seraphic being was watching over me. While my class meandered around, I noticed that this drill lasted much longer than usual. Eventually, my teacher discovered a glitch in the fire drill system causing the false alarm, and everyone went back inside. Be it a glitch or a real fire, I appreciated the unexpected break in my exhausting school day. Once I got back to my house, my false fire drill euphoria quickly faded when my phone buzzed with the news headline — My School Is Getting Shot Up.

While school shootings have somehow become a normality in today’s society, this one piqued my interest. As I delved deeper and deeper into the story, the narrative terrified me more and more.

The news reported that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, went back to the school he was expelled from with an AR-15 in a soft black case.  He “[walked] purposefully” toward a particular building, gun drawn, and pulled the fire alarm. There were only 10 minutes left of the school day — why would a fire drill occur? This thought, coupled with the fact that there had already been another false alarm previously that day, caused confused students to scurry out of their classrooms, right into the sight of Cruz’s reticle. Seventeen lives were lost. From now on, students will fear fire drills.  They will feel unsafe during assemblies. Celebratory public gatherings will now be considered easy targets for a killer.

Later that day, an article read that an eight-year-old girl asked her parents for new shoes because her light up Sketchers would give her location away in a shooting.  An eight-year-old? We shouldn’t live in a world where we fear that our shoes, often the only form of self-expression in a school with a uniform, will be the difference between life and death.

Why are AR-15 rifles legal in the first place? No matter their recreational appeal, they are not worth the lives of children. It’s appalling that a nineteen-year-old can’t buy a beer, can’t buy a handgun, but can buy a semi-automatic rifle. Nikolas Cruz legally bought his rifle.

While many people may squabble over what to do about controlling guns, all I ask is that we DO something. Ban semi-automatic rifles, make background checks more thorough, make obtaining a gun more challenging: I don’t care what the fix is, all I care about is that we TRY to find a solution.  

This isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a human issue. We need to strive to make real change. While this may seem like a naive, idealistic pipe dream, each of us can take small steps to enact change. It is our duty, not only as Americans, but as human beings, to try and save lives.  


Jack Trent




Graphic Design by Jackson Edwards
Product of Errant Publishing Co.

Concussions: The Hard Hitting Impact They Have

in Science & Technology by

The stadium erupts.  Fans are yelling in support, the guys next to you are fist bumping, and the cheerleaders are dancing and shouting.  Your team’s safety just leveled the opposing team’s wide receiver, and you couldn’t be happier.  While big plays like this are adrenaline pumping and rack up millions of views on youtube, it’s the allure to disaster that draws the viewer in.  Few people think about the wide receiver on the ground, helmet off, being checked out by the medical staff.  Everyone remembers the safety who put him there.  These types of plays, and football’s nature of hard hits and violent impacts, are why many parents are not allowing their kids to play youth football.  A recent study researched by Boston University proved that kids who began play tackle football after the age of 12 had significantly fewer cognitive and behavioral problems than those who began playing before 12.  The human brain rapidly develops between the ages of 10 and 12, and this is the impetus for a movement many scientists are pushing for: no tackle football until a child is in their teenage years.  Parents, coaches, and leagues are starting to take notice.  Pop Warner, the biggest youth football league in the country, has reduced contact in practice, changed game rules, and even banned kickoffs, one of the most dangerous and violent aspects of the game.  It is estimated that children from 9-12 playing tackle football can sustain 240-585 hits to the head each season.  While new CTE data is coming out frequently, we all know one thing: football is bad for your brain.  And yes, precautions have been taken to make football safer, players get ejected for targeting and rules about when and who to block have changed, there is still a brain injury problem ominously hanging around the sport of football.  Am I saying we should stop playing football? Absolutely not.  All I am saying is that more work needs to be done to protect our players on the field, so they can live a life off the field.  This could be done with improved helmets, more flag football being played while young, or new scientific breakthroughs.  Whatever the fix may be, we need to find it soon. Until then, we should probably stop celebrating the bone crunching hits and try to solve our concussion conundrum.  

Graphic Design by Jack Trent
Product of Errant Publishing Co.

Our Exploration Declaration

in Science & Technology by

Exploration is a crucial part of America.  Manifest Destiny once took control of America.  Lewis and Clark’s lionized journey is a story every elementary school student could recount.   Then the Space Race held American eyes captive, cementing our country as the nation of exploration.  So why stop???  Recently, funding for NASA has slowed and American hopes of exploration are decaying.  Some say that NASA shouldn’t get funding because they don’t do anything.  That’s like telling someone to open a lemonade stand, not giving them any lemons, and then being upset that they haven’t sold any lemonade.  Research and development from NASA  has given the world scratch resistant glass, memory foam, cordless tools, Google Earth mapping, breast cancer detection technology, high capacity batteries, even the soft sole in your running shoes.  All of these things were developed from or based on NASA projects. Funding NASA isn’t just funding space exploration, it’s funding innovation itself.  Innovation and iteration aside, the money is what matters.  Currently, the military budget has over 35 times the amount of money NASA has.  Surely NASA could get some money from the government department that annually wastes over 100 billion dollars.  Maybe taxpayers don’t want to see their hard earned money go to space exploration.  Maybe you hate the fact that 10 whole dollars of your taxes goes towards NASA.  Let’s face it, while life on Earth is sensational, we all know the Earth is a finite resource.  Especially noting the lack of effort we have made to protect the environment, space exploration will inevitably be our only hope of survival.  We must not let short term problems distract us from our long term goals.  Colonizing other planets aside, allocating funds to NASA will inspire the next generation to join STEM fields, show the world we are working toward the betterment of the human race, and allow us to participate in the human tradition of exploration.  So why should we fund NASA? For Science.


A product of Errant Publishing Co.

Podcast with Congressional Candidate David Balat

in Podcasts by


Podcast recorded by Jack Trent, Jackson Edwards, and David Balat.

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