Palo Alto high school magazine makes statement with 'bullet hole' through issue

- A student-run magazine at Palo Alto High School is getting national attention after publishing a dramatic issue on gun violence this week. It features a physical "bullet" hole that runs through every page. 

The bullet hole pierces the cover of Verde Magazine, and disrupts each article inside.

But the students at Palo Alto High School say disruption was the point: they wanted to make a strong statement about gun violence.

Perspectives editor Tamar Sarig said, "At first somebody threw it out as kind of like, what if we did this? And then more and more people were like, we actually could do that."

So their advisor and their printer found a way, physically punching the holes through 10 copies of the student-run magazine at a time.

Advisor Paul Kandell said, "It cost $100 to have somebody stand there for several hours punching it with a drill press."

The issue, in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was meant to cover a number of perspectives.

There was an article about a student walkout on one hand, but also an interview with a student gun owner.

They were set to go to press, when things changed. Co-editor in Chief Julie Cornfield said, "Our printer was standing in front of the class holding up the magazine. And we're all so excited because this is our idea, this is our brainchild that's coming into fruition. And then he's holding it up and they say over the loudspeaker this is not a drill, this is a lockdown."

It was March 29th, when someone called in a threat to shoot up Palo Alto High School.

Police later found it to be a hoax. But the students say they took the fear they felt in those moments, and added it to the issue.

Staff writer Calvin Yan said, "When you realize that you're not just contained in your own bubble, that you're not safe from this other thing that is happening, there becomes a time that you need to do something about it."

The student magazine quickly went viral online, garnering mostly praise for its design.

The student journalists say they're hoping the bullet hole, prompts more people to read the content inside, and to further the conversation about guns.

Sarig said, "It's a moment where people our age are just generally taking the lead in a discussion that's been reserved for adults until now. So I think the pressure to get it right was really high."

The students printed 3,200 copies of the magazine. But demand has been so high, they're already out. 

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