What Happened to Bethpage Journalism? — The Eagle’s Cry Examines


Many of you probably don’t realize this, but back in the 1970s, Bethpage High School was a place where one could hear the craziest and most absurd anecdotes. We’ll tell you some shortly…and you won’t believe it. But it all happened. The Newspaper Club recently pored over dozens of issues of The Eagle’s Cry from the ‘70s and discovered that these former student journalists shared some wild stories surrounding the happenings at BHS. 

However, in recent decades, BHS has become a bit…boring. Not to say that students are encouraging more drama, but we could be a little more lively.

When comparing the old newspaper to now, you might notice that stories of current 2023 BHS events have become increasingly vanilla. So, what happened?

For starters, there was seemingly no limit to what The Eagle’s Cry could publish. From bathroom fires, all the way to kids being left behind on field trips to a psych ward, prior restraint feels slim to none. 

Nowadays, even the mention of a school fight seems to bore the average listener. Rather than desperately ask for more details—or video evidence—most just reply, “again?” So, how did we get here? Well, times surely have changed, especially school rules and protocols. 

Did you know that it used to be required of girls to make up absences in gym class, while boys weren’t? How about how swim was a required class? Could you imagine having to go to swim class first period, and then math? Or, how about a whole poll written and published by editors of The Eagle’s Cry discussing the “inadequacies in the school supplies” among other “material complaints?”  

Also, a memorable article published by the paper quite literally rated girls based on their looks. They referred to it as a “beauty poll” which was written by one boy in particular who, at the time, was a junior. Since this student had written multiple articles rating girls’ looks on a scale from one to ten, certain faculty members thought it’d “only be fair” for the girls to rate him in similar fashion. So, a poll was conducted and the average rating for him was a 4.6, which would make him “below average.” The student claimed he was “very proud and pleased with this rating.” If The Eagle’s Cry currently published an article like that, we would definitely be forced to remove it. Even senior superlatives are strictly monitored before they are released so as not to offend anyone. Have you heard the senior superlatives from the 1970s?  Best Body!  Cutest!  Fabulously Flirtatious.

Another hot topic frequently discussed by The Eagle’s Cry was whether or not the school should implement a smoking lounge. In the ‘70s, smoking cigarettes was popular among all ages, which explains why the student body was so eager to ask for one. The students would be forced to smoke in the bathrooms, but those who didn’t smoke were bothered by the smell of cigarettes. Therefore, students constantly asked for a designated smoking area, but to our knowledge their wish was never granted.

For as long as The Eagle’s Cry was publishing articles, it is very blatant that it’s not as it used to be. Of course, we aren’t saying that we want BHS to be involved in some ridiculous controversy, but we as a student body should make the school more fun in addition to being a great learning environment.