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The Maverick Newspaper

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Whack-a-Mole or Whack-a-Gopher?

What’s going on with the Gopher Holes?
Whack-a-Mole or Whack-a-Gopher?

     Everybody knows about the classic game Whack-a-Mole, where moles pop up from different holes in a machine, and hitting them will award you points. But with the gopher holes appearing around the Fallon Campus, could we have to start playing a game of Whack-a-Gopher?

     Ever since the bushes near the ramp have been chopped down, students have begun taking a different route to walk up the ramp by walking on the grass. However, the route they are taking is scattered with gopher holes on the surface of the grass. These holes could trip and hurt the middle school students who walk to and from home. But are they dangerous? We interviewed multiple students and teachers about this issue, and this is what they said.

     8th and 6th grade P.E. teacher Mrs.Volk reflects on this issue, “I definitely think that the holes on the field are a safety hazard and something that our landscape crew is currently working on to fix.” Many P.E. teachers at Fallon are contacting the landscape crew and asking them to remove most of the gopher holes around the P.E. fields, as many students have been injured while traversing the fields. These injuries can range from tripping gashes to leg wounds.

     Many students have been tripping in these gopher holes on their journey into the grass fields and injuring themselves. These holes could pose a danger to the student population here and the teachers. 

     After collecting data from around 60 students, it turns out that more than 55% of the students have been personally affected by the gopher holes. Some have been tripping while walking onto the P.E. fields, while others have sustained other injuries such as twisted ankles. But what can we do to prevent these injuries?

     To find out how to solve this issue, the Yearbook team sent out a survey asking students their opinions on the solution. 

     An 8th grader, Avery Le thinks that “Adding cones nearby [to warn] …students/staff to know not to go near that area” could potentially slow down the number of injuries caused. Adding cones near hazard areas could make many aware of the gopher hole, allowing them to navigate the area without sustaining any injuries. 

     Another solution, suggested by 6th grader Brynn Shook, is “giving the [gophers] another place to live. Then bury up the holes in the field,” Moving the gophers away from our school has a lot of benefits, like letting them live in a more suitable environment without hundreds of students crossing across where they call home. After they are relocated, the burials of the holes will make the grounds much easier to cross over.

     Another way of thinking about this problem, more eco-focused, submitted by 7th grader Landon Colley, is that “The gophers were here way before [the school] was built and this is their home as much [as] it is our school.” In a world where humans constantly destroy the environments of precious animals, it may be imperative to begin letting the animals, who were here much earlier than we were, enjoy the place they grew up in. But our school is already established, so what can we do that is eco-friendly?

    All in all, the gopher holes in the fields are mostly not becoming whack-a-mole grounds where we have to hop around to make our way out, but they certainly aren’t hazardless either.

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Sarah Chen, Writer
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