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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shopping at

We're not encouraging you to shop at But if you're going to do it, or you know anyone who is, The Tattoo can get some of the profits that would otherwise have gone to amazon. And we do know that The Tattoo needs the money more.
So if you are going to shop at, go to first and click on the Amazon ad on the right side of our home page. It'll take you directly to the website and you or anyone can proceed to shop normally there. The only difference is that The Tattoo will get something like 5 percent of what you spend. It will cost you nothing, just shift some of the profits on any sales from them to us.
So keep that in mind if it has any bearing on your life.
And let friends and family who might shop at know about this, too. It's a simple way to help keep The Tattoo thriving.
We appreciate your help!

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

Playing around on Thanksgiving

By Rachel Glogowski
The Tattoo
For my 12 younger cousins and I, today – the Wednesday before Thanksgiving – is a time of preparation.
Although most of us cousins don’t do an extreme amount of cooking for Turkey Day, we prepare in our own way for another family tradition – the annual Thanksgiving Play.
The Play, which deserves a capitalized title, is a cute little production that has been performed for the adults for many years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
You see, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, my dad’s entire side of the family goes up to Vermont, where my aunt and uncle and two of my cousins live.
We run through the script, mostly written by my two younger cousins and I, on Friday and Saturday. Then it is performed in the basement, which has ample seating for the many adults that watch, after dinner on Saturday night.
Over the years, the play has snowballed – it keeps getting longer, more creative, and more intricate as Thanksgivings pass.... Click here to read Glogowski's entire Thanksgiving story

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Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Tattoo gets a thumbs-up from the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"Begun in 1994 with a small group of teen writers in Bristol, Connecticut, The Tattoo has grown into a widely respected online teen newspaper with writers from around the world. The site is filled with articles on every topic of interest to teenagers. A great window into the adolescent world and worldview."

That's a pretty nice nod of recognition. We appreciate it.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Windows on the world

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Above is the view from Tattoo alum Eric Simmons' window in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. It's the first of what we trust will be many photographs taken by Tattoo staff, alumni, friends and readers across the globe. If you'd like to join our effort to show the world one little piece at a time, send us a digital picture of the view out YOUR window. Just tell us where you are and, if you like, your name. You can email the photographs to

We'll soon have a special page devoted to what we get at Thanks.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Sign up for The Tattoo's mailing list

Find out what's going on with The Tattoo!
We're setting up a new mailing list to let loyal readers know when new issues or special stories are available online. We'll only send something about about once a week except in the rarest of circumstances.
We'll keep your email address private. Nobody else will see it. Just us.
Help us serve you by signing up now to receive Tattoo updates in your inbox. Just follow this link -- -- and click on the "Join This Group" link on the right side of the GoogleGroups page you reach.
Thanks for your support!

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Another Tattoo issue hits the streets

Featuring two journals, a profile, a cartoon and a review of "Stranger Than Fiction," there's a variety of material in this week's great new issue.

Tattoo writer Rachel Glogowski, one of our Bristol contingent, turned out both the review and a journal about the end of marching band season on Thanksgiving Day, when the two rival Bristol schools face off in the decades-old rivalry at historic Muzzy Field.

Another Bristol writer, Beth Pond of St. Paul Catholic High School, wrote a profile of a teen who's turning heads as a twirler.

There's also a journal from Miami writer Jenny Coloma, who writes movingly about her mother. Don't miss it.

Oh, yes, and there's also Justin Skaradosky's cartoon.

ABOVE: Jenny Coloma.

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Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Another Justin Skaradosky cartoon published today

For a whole lot more of Justin Skaradosky's work, check out You'll find our writer's index on the right side, about halfway down. Just look up Skaradosky to see all of this cartoons. And poke around. There's an awful lot of other great stuff!

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Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A potential Halls of Shame contender

In the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer photograph to the right, Stephanie Moreno, center, is handing out what may be the last uncensored copies of the Holly Springs High School paper, The Hawkeye.
According to a Nov. 15 news story in the Raleigh daily, the school's principal, Luther Johnson, plans to start reviewing the paper before it goes to press to make sure it is "factual and reflects our school ... in a relatively positive light."
The young journalists who turn out the paper aren't stupid. They know what he means -- and they don't like it.
"I don't want to turn it into fluff," Kathryn Watson, 15, a sophomore and editor in chief of The Hawkeye told the Raleigh newspaper.
According the News & Observer story, which is particularly well done, "Students at Holly Springs High were glad administrators didn't review their first two editions. In those issues, The Hawkeye told about construction delays, gas leaks and water leaks since the school opened in August. Other stories and editorial cartoons focused on rules typically found in elementary schools, such as how to walk and which side of the stairs to use."
Jennifer Hall-Lewis, adviser for The Hawkeye, told the newspaper that other teachers have joked to her about when she will be fired.
Hall-Lewis said, according to the Raleigh paper, "parents have praised the newspaper for providing a balanced view of the school. But Johnson, the school's principal, said parents and teachers have complained that the newspaper isn't portraying the school in a positive enough light."
The News & Observer said that Johnson is meeting with Hall-Lewis next week to discuss the student newspaper and says he hasn't made up his mind, though the six other Wake County principals he asked for advice all told him they already censor their students' papers.
It doesn't look promising.
But perhaps Johnson will see the light.
The Raleigh paper talked to Steven Unruhe, adviser to The Pirate's Hook at Riverside High School in Durham, who said censorship typically makes newspapers so boring that students don't want to read them.
Unruhe told the News & Observer that in his 16 years at Riverside High, he's never had a principal yank a story.
As a result, he told the paper, The Pirate's Hook covers topics such as profanity, public displays of affection and other R-rated behavior at school.
"If you want to know what kids think, you've got to let them write about it," Unruhe told the News & Observer, proving he's one of the great student paper advisors.
Riverside High Principal James Key told the News & Observer that he isn't always thrilled with what he reads in The Pirate's Hook. But, he told the paper, he weighs the controversial topics, including criticism of himself, against all the good he says the newspaper does for the school.
"I'm not going to squelch an article simply because it looks unfavorably upon the school," Key told the Raleigh newspaper. "It may help bring to light something that's not widely known by administrators."
If only there were more principals who think like Key and fewer who hold students and parents in such contempt that they would rather hide the truth than face it.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Another young writer censored

A couple of weeks, a student reporter named Kelly-Anne Howe was at an Edward Milne Community School Halloween dance when she suddenly and unexpectedly found herself in the middle of some breaking news.
As she wrote for the Sooke News Mirror in British Columbia, despite the presence of "four police officers" to keep things on the straight and narrow "more drunk kids got through the Sooke cops then ever before."
She reported that four students were caught drinking by teachers and a chaperone "found a mickey of Smirnoff raspberry in the girl's bathroom."
Needless to say, in today's no-tolerance world, some students got in big trouble.
Of course, though, administrators cared more about Ms. Howe's reporting the news than they did about the students drinking.
According to the Sooke News Mirror, Ms. Howe "was taken to task for writing what she thought was an event that had serious consequences for the student body as a whole and the drinking teens in particular."
She was reprimanded, the paper reported today, "and received a far harsher punishment than the students who were sent home from the dance. She has been barred from writing about what she sees and hears in the school."
As the Sooke News Mirror rightly points out, "To limit what a student can write about is censorship and as editor I will not condone such a tactic from the school or from anywhere else. To limit what a student can participate in for fear of a unflattering story takes censorship too far. Things happen in schools, in town, everywhere and to stick one's head in the sand and pretend everything is perfect is just plain silly."
The Sooke News Mirror says it "stands behind our young reporter and we are watching to see what happens. If she has been threatened in any way, by anyone, for her writing, then something is terribly wrong on some level in the community."
That's the spirit. Don't give up, Ms. Howe. The truth will prevail and the censors will lose. They always do.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Going to Guatemala and more in The Tattoo's new issue

There's another great Justin Skaradosky cartoon, of course, but the November 13, 2006 issue also has a freshman diary by North Carolina's Taylor Isenhour, a profile of a Maine teen by Sebastianne King and a terrific travel piece by Oscar Ramirez, a Tattoo writer in El Salvador. Ramirez wrote about the historic city of Antigua, Guatemala and took a slew of photographs, too. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, be sure to check out all of the pictures on his Antigua picture page (the link is at the bottom of his story). It's another wonderful issue that deserves your attention.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halls of Shame, Part 8

There must be something up in Florida because yet another principal there has gone out of his way to enter our Hall of Shame.
This time, the student journalists of the “PawPrint” at Deltona High School haven’t had the chance to print their latest issue because Principal Gary Marks is slowly, slowly, slowly reviewing EIGHT different pieces to see if they meet his no doubt high journalistic standards.
Among the stories, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, is one about the resignation of the school’s football coach, always a touchy subject. Another controversial piece is an editorial calling for the arrest of four students involved in a car crash that killed a freshman at the school. And then there’s a column about Satanism, which is always fun.
But we know what it’s really all about.
As the Daytona paper put it: “Irate student editor Eric Ritter, a senior, said the school can't handle criticism so it censored the students' articles. As an example, Ritter pointed to an opinion article he wrote scolding the school for purchasing a $700 television for the front office while teachers face limits on the numbers of photocopies they are allowed to make. ‘This is them covering themselves because they don't want parents to read that they're spending money on things that aren't necessary,’ the 17-year-old said.
Now you just know that’s what got to censorious Mr. Marks. There’s nothing like blowing the whistle on a $700 tv set for the front office to guarantee trouble with the administration.
And you have to love Eric Ritter, who seems to have both the poise and the news sense to make it in the news biz.
So, Mr. Marks, you probably won’t see this on your big new tv, but congratulations on your new induction into the Hall of Shame that we here at The Tattoo created to honor jerks in positions of authority who have no respect for freedom of the high school press.

PS: Hey, Eric, come write for The Tattoo!

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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