Story, Photos, & Illustrations by Tiger Staff
2020 has been an unprecedented year. At this point that phrase is an annoying cliche, but with 12 months that included a global pandemic, a nationwide reckoning over racism, a fierce election cycle, and many local clashes and scandals, there is no other accurate way to describe this year.
Tiger breaks down this one-of-a-kind year into a timeline for each newspaper section before 2021 arrives.
- Jan. 1: South Pasadena’s float, depicting the victory of women’s suffrage in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, wins the Mayor Award in the 2020 Rose Parade.
- Jan. 11: SPHS’ Tiger Health club organizes the City’s first Family Wellness Fair at Orange Grove Park, which features booths from local health-focused organizations.
- Jan. 14: The School Board votes to change to election by districts after the threat of a lawsuit alleging the current at-large elections disenfranchise Black and Latinx constituents.
- Jan. 17: The ASB Health & Wellness Officers organize the “You Matter” Assembly to promote mental health awareness among students.
- Senior Cole Fox speaks to Tiger about her role as a 2020 Rose Court princess.
- Parasite illuminates complex South Korean class struggle at the exhilarating pace of a horror thriller.
- Tiger explores the Rose Parade and the kickoff of winter sports’ seasons in its January 2020 at SPHS video.
- Feb. 13: SPHS’ annual talent show features nine multicultural acts ranging from traditional Māori dance to a Chinese choir singing Mandarin and Cantonese songs.
- Feb. 27 & 28: The Spoken Literature Art Movement (SLAM) hosts poetry workshops in SPHS English classes, aiming to inspire students to express their creativity through words.
- Tiger’s staff editorial critiques the outdated white male voices that dominate SPHS’ English curriculum.
- Tiger critiques the 2020 Oscar recipients.
- The enigmatic Mr. G shares a glimpse into the person under the cowboy hat.
- Tiger calls for greater awareness and education about female health issues, such as amenorrhea, in a sports opinion article.
- After the world lost Laker legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, Tiger reflects on the Black Mamba’s impact on fans across the nation.
- Tiger’s February 2020 at SPHS video highlights the Talent Show and Powerpuff game.
- Tiger releases its February print issue, which dives into Winter Formal, the truth behind AP classes, and helicopter parents.
- Mar. 2: The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office decides that the officers involved in Vanessa Marquez’s Aug. 2018 killing acted in self-defense and will face no charges.
- Mar. 11: SPUSD announces the first cancellations and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Mar. 12: District administrators decide to close schools for an early two-week Spring Break.
- Mar. 13: The district extends Spring Break another week to Apr. 3 as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.
- Mar. 16: The pandemic prompts City facilities, the Public Library, and restaurants and entertainment services in L.A. County to close, while South Pasadena records its first confirmed coronavirus case.
- Mar. 17: Local Irish pub Griffins of Kinsale violates shutdown order, facing public and law enforcement backlash.
- Mar. 18: The City Council declares a local emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic and passes tenant protections.
- Mar. 20: SPUSD extends its school closures to May 5 as teachers and students prepare for the start of distance learning on Apr. 6.
- Mar 23: Residents band together to create the South Pasadena Volunteer Grocery Shoppers program to assist those vulnerable to the coronavirus.
- Tiger comments on the harmful implications of coronavirus panic hoarding.
- The long awaited Sonic the Hedgehog is released and Tiger concludes that it is to be taken strictly at face value.
- Residents speak to Tiger about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting their lives.
- Mar. 12: Coronavirus prompts CIF to cancel all basketball championship games and the Rio Hondo League to scrap its first competitions.
- Tiger gives its indisputable opinions on the best and worst uniforms in SPHS athletics.
- Tiger’s March 2020 at SPHS video covers how coronavirus restrictions unfolded in South Pasadena.
- Tiger highlights women in local politics in honor of Women’s History Month as well as analyzing student opinions on the 2020 presidential election in its March print issue.
- Apr. 1: SPUSD declares school closures will continue for the remainder of the school year.
- Apr. 8: Many SPHS students express disappointment as Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the presidential race, making Biden the presumptive Democratic party nominee.
- Apr. 11: South Pasadena reaches 15 confirmed coronavirus cases as L.A. County totals over 250 virus-related deaths.
- Apr. 18: District administrators notify the community of significant budget cuts due to the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. SPHS ASB announces next year’s commissioners after conducting a virtual election.
- Apr. 21: SPHS’ Planned Parenthood Peer Advocates host a virtual LGBTQ+ Inclusivity panel, which features four educators who provide insight on how to make schools more accepting of queer individuals.
- Apr. 23: South Pasadena surpasses 50 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of over 20 in the last 72 hours.
- Apr. 28: Teachers discover new ways to interact with students during distance learning, including leading exercise classes and connecting with students during office hours.
- Apr. 30: SPMS principal David Kubela leaves his position to work as principal of Acton-Agua Dulce.
- Apr. 3: CIF officially calls off all spring sports competitions due to coronavirus. Quickly after CIF’s previous announcement, the RHL announces its spring season’s cancellation.
- Spring athletes reflect on the realities of the cancelled sports season.
- May 5: Cheryl Busick is selected to replace David Kubela as the new SPMS principal.
- May 6: The City, SPPD, and community members and organizations coordinate homeless outreach as South Pasadena approaches 100 confirmed coronavirus cases.
- May 9: South Pasadena reopens parts of the local economy, including the Arroyo Seco Golf Course and allowing curbside pickup for bookstores, florists, and music and toy shops.
- May 18: The SPHS Counselors honor five juniors with the annual Book Awards for academic excellence and community service.
- May 30: ASB announces final class elections results after conducting two runoffs.
- In the face of a stifling political climate, Tiger makes a case for the power of the individual vote in local, state, and national elections.
- Tiger compiles a guide to quarantine activities other than pacing and developing mild hypochondria because it’s two months in and this is all still very novel.
- SPHS alumna Sophie Reynolds releases single “You’ve Got This” in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
- The baseball team laments on the promising season that never got off the ground.
- Jun. 1: Community members respond to L.A. County’s sequence of curfews over Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests following George Floyd’s police killing in Minneapolis on May 25.
- Jun. 2: The City faces financial losses and backlash as it develops a 2020-2021 fiscal year budget, including community criticism over an almost $9.5 million SPPD budget. This coincides with local protests at the corner of Fair Oaks and Mission in support of BLM. Meanwhile, SPHS honors seniors at its annual year-end awards night for the soon-to-be graduates.
- Jun. 3: SPHS bids farewell to seniors in drive-through and livestream graduation ceremonies.
- Jun. 4: Small businesses struggle to stay afloat as the coronavirus rages on. Also, residents discuss SPPD reforms at an outdoor community meeting.
- Jun. 6: Gene Andres shares his experience battling the coronavirus, which serves as a warning for everyone to stay safe.
- Jun. 8: Local residents embrace BLM by taking to the streets in protests organized by London Lang.
- Jun. 9: The School Board outlaws the use of drug dogs at SPHS and SPMS after many students, teachers, and parents criticized the practice as unjustly targeting Black and Latinx students.
- Jun. 10: Community members protest in front of City Hall to pressure the City to reform the SPPD and funnel funds from its budget into community services and mental health resources. Residents also scrutinized the proposed City budget for its lack of accountability; many are demanding a financial audit before the adoption of a budget.
- Jun. 23: The SPPD’s arrest of a crime suspect draws community criticism for excessive force.
- Jun. 24: Vanessa Marquez’s family file a $20 million civil rights lawsuit against the City after the officers involved in her killing were not charged. Also, the City Council votes down the proposed city budget and approves a subcommittee on the future of policing in South Pasadena.
- Jun. 27: Racist “It’s OK to be white” flyers, used by white supremacist groups, return to South Pasadena.
- Tiger argues against the necessity of excess plastic waste in order to maintain public health.
- In response to the national call for the defunding of law enforcement, Tiger analyzes how redistribution can work and should be initiated on a local level.
- Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Joe Biden must be taken seriously; believing survivors should not come out of political convenience.
- Tiger photographers capture moments in the midst of a pandemic.
- Netflix TV shows and movies tell Asian-American and Pacific Islander stories.
- SPHS teachers Mrs. Jaroch and Mr. McGough host online fitness sessions as the popularity of exercise and maintaining health began to rise in quarantine.
- Coronavirus claims two victims when Souplantation shut down all of its locations: the beloved restaurant chain and countless cross country traditions.
- The Class of 2020 sends nine athletes to the collegiate level.
- Jun. 16: Following Phase One of reopening athletic activities, CIF issues guidelines allowing athletes to execute a safe preseason.
- Jul. 4: A DUDES performance and outdoor community artwork replace the traditional 4th of July parade, which was canceled due to the coronavirus.
- Jul. 13: Increase in coronavirus cases prompts statewide reclosing of businesses.
- Jul. 16: The School Board advises Superintendent Geoff Yantz to begin the school year with 100 percent distance learning, while passing a hybrid schedule for future implementation. Teachers expressed frustration that their views weren’t being respected. Also, community members voiced their experiences with the SPPD at a virtual forum organized by the City’s future of policing subcommittee.
- Tiger defends the necessity of affirmative action.
- Tiger gathers a guide to intersectional LGBTQ+ and BIPOC books, movies, and TV shows.
- Phoebe Bridgers’ “Punisher” is an album for right now.
- Just Mercy is still acutely relevant.
- Jul. 9: While abiding by the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s guidelines, SPUSD puts a halt to all athletic programs until further notice.
- Jul. 20: CIF releases plans for 2020-2021 athletics. This includes the postponement of all fall sports until December and an extended summer period.
- Aug. 4: Teachers voice concern over the district’s adopted learning models for not reflecting their feedback, and are calling for an emergency Board meeting to propose their own plan.
- Aug. 8: The School Board votes down the Teacher’s Association of South Pasadena’s (TASP) proposed learning model, which would have allocated Fridays for asynchronous work and activities to promote student and teacher wellness.
- Aug 9: Activist group South Pasadena Youth for Police Reform (SPY4PR) calls attention to SPPD misconduct, specifically in Joe Richcreek’s targeted assault of BLM protestors, and puts pressure on the City for action.
- Aug. 11: SPHS teachers Mike Hogan and Elinor Charlton retire prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
- Aug. 15: City Councilmember Marina Khubesrian resigns after admitting to sending harassing emails from fake accounts to a colleague.
- Tiger explores SPHS’s ingrained compliance to systematic racism as a part of its summer spread.
- Tiger photographers share seven photos for World Photography Day.
- As George Floyd’s killing spurs a nationwide racial reckoning, Tiger dives into local injustice with its “Not In My Backyard – Racism in South Pasadena” spread. The project includes interviews with recent SPHS alum Alekzander Grijalva, long-time South Pas resident Félix Gutierrez, and the city’s only Black business owner Anitra Terrell, as well as a timeline of significant racist events in city history. There are also articles examining South Pasadena’s harmful obsession with its image of diversity and an exposé examining the ways in which SPHS is failing its BIPOC students.
- Sept. 2: After Khubesrian’s resignation, the City Council selects Stephen Rossi to be the interim representative from District Two.
- Sept. 3: Student-run mental health and wellbeing program CREATIONS educates high schoolers on topics ranging from stress to health relationships.
- Sept. 12: SPHS’ Speech and Debate team hosts a “Know your Rights” voting workshop. Meanwhile, City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe resigns after a tenure of heavy public criticism for abuse of power and lack of transparency.
- Sept. 14: Local activist group Care First calls for a 15 percent cut in the SPPD’s budget and the reallocation of City resources into community welfare programs.
- Sept. 17: Students demand anti-racist reforms at SPHS, including more inclusive and diverse curriculum, more BIPOC teachers, and more support services for students of color.
- Sept. 23: Students and teachers rally together in support of wellness days and call on the School Board to amend the current instructional model to include weekly asynchronous days.
- Sept. 24: Student-run project Compost Culture wins the Dragon Challenge and an additional $5,000 to promote community composting in the fight against climate change.
- Sept. 26: Residents question SPPD’s ties to an anti-LGBTQ+ and racist hate group after Police Chief Joe Ortiz invited the oppressive organization to lead a prayer service at City Hall.
- Sept. 27: Students express discomfort and frustration about SPHS’ campus resource officer, and instead want more investment in mental health services.
- Sept. 29: The School Board opposes wellness days in spite of overwhelming community support, garnering harsh criticism from teachers, students, and parents.
- In response to the aftermath of Cold War propaganda, schools should make an effort to reverse the “Red Scare.”
- Tiger questions the necessity and superficial intentions of the Neighborhood Watch.
- Tiger explores the implications of internalized racism.
- Tenet is a cold and calculating masterpiece with little room for true emotion.
- Episode Three: Tiger discusses climate change with the founders Compost Culture, senior Patrick Latting and junior Liam de Villa.
- Tiger’s September issue dives into racism locally and the role of law enforcement, in light of nationwide BLM protests.
- Oct. 3: A white man illegally drives his truck onto the sidewalk at the corner of Fair Oaks and Mission to intimidate BLM protestors. Community members criticize the SPPD for not arresting or citing him.
- Oct. 6: Finance Director Karen Aceves resigns from City post, the first Latina in the position.
- Oct. 15: SPUSD announces a plan to stay virtual for the remainder of 2020. SPHS and SPMS implement department asynchronous days, and the middle school reinstates all days.
- Oct. 19: Students share their experiences of racism at SPHS during the Peer Mediators’ BIPOC panel.
- Oct. 21: Community members turn out to oppose the proposed Moffat Street extension project, which would establish seven luxury homes at the border of South Pasadena and El Sereno.
- Oct. 22: SPHS youth work polls for the 2020 election in an effort to aid poller shortages due to the coronavirus and to get involved in the democratic process during a tense election season.
- Oct. 31: BLM South Pasadena ends almost 150 days of protesting at the corner of Fair Oaks and Mission.
- Tiger argues for more regulation of classroom discourse in order to maintain a safe school environment.
- The conclusion of Keeping Up With the Kardashians means anything but the end of an era.
- Oct. 13: SPHS athletic director Anthony Chan presents the current safety plan for the winter athletic season. The plan describes the precautions that will be taken to ensure the safety of students and staff.
- Episode Four: Tiger talks homophobia on campus and the fluidity of gender and sexuality with junior Max Jimenez.
- Tiger releases its October print issue, focused on the many facets of the upcoming election.
- Tiger’s spread on Hispanic Heritage month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, recognizes Latinx students’ rich cultural identities.
- California voters will decide on a diverse array of propositions in the Nov. 3 election. Tiger unpacks four of them that are most influential to students.
- Tiger analyzes how the U.S. government is failing its people and upholding oppressive systems, while simultaneously proposing reforms necessary to establishing a true American democracy.
- Nov. 1: Trump supporters stage a local rally and assault a minor.
- Nov. 3: Abajian and Martinez-Miller win in the School Board election. Zneimer, Donovan, and Primuth are victorious in the City Council district elections. LA County election results favor BLM movement but statewide propositions show mixed bag.
- Nov. 7: Joe Biden wins the 2020 presidential election, and the community celebrates and clashes.
- Nov. 17: Residents call on the City Council to launch an investigation into the SPPD after the department has demonstrated repeated bias against women, people of color, young people, the LGBTQ+ community, and BLM activists.
- Nov. 18: Residents criticize the City Councilmembers for gerrymandering the city districts so that each representative could retain their seat.
- Nov. 20: Police Chief Joe Ortiz resigns amidst community calls for an investigation into the SPPD.
- Nov. 30: A coronavirus surge prompts L.A. County public health officials to instate greater restrictions, including prohibiting all gathering of more than one household.
- SPHS needs to retire The American Pageant because of its racial bias and white-centric narrative.
- The Queen’s Gambit is unexpected, exciting, and political without being didactic.
- Nov. 3: Sports resume at SPHS following a seven month offseason due to coronavirus. Athletes and staff are required to follow firm regulations to ensure their safety while team practices resume.
- Nov. 13: An SPHS football athlete tests positive for coronavirus resulting in a two-day suspension in their practice schedule.
- Episode Nine: Tiger answers relationship questions and offers advice on how to navigate them healthily.
- Tiger releases its November print issue, which dives into topics ranging from the presidential election and the ills of the current P.E. curriculum, to Native American Heritage Month and the acclaimed The Queen’s Gambit.
- Tiger’s Veterans Day spread features the stories of three local residents affiliated with the military to inspire local gratitude.
- Tiger interviewed two members of the local Tongva nation in honor of Native American Heritage Month to better understand what non-Native allyship should look like.
- Dec. 14: SPHS principal Janet Anderson announces the return of late starts in the second semester while the negotiated asynchronous periods will be removed.
- Dec. 16: The City Council extends its eviction moratorium, focused on requiring landlords obtain a permit before evicting tenants for remodeling, amidst public misunderstanding.
- Dec. 24: Local anti-racist groups render their holiday donation drive for those facing homelessness a success.
- SPHS needs to end its outdated and ineffective abstinence based approach to student drug usage.
- What is America and are we all numb? These are the questions only cripplingly irresponsible Kazach reporter Borat Sagdiev can answer in Borat Subsequent MovieFilm.
- Dec. 1: CIF announces that pre-scheduled practices and games for season one sports are temporarily put on hold as well as playoff competitions are officially cancelled.
- Episode Fourteen: Tiger muses on the impact of a cultural rejection of emotional intimacy that conflicts with our inherent desire for closeness.