Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

At the end of their final Collection, the class of 2024 streamed onstage for a final dance, and shouts of SEN-IORS!
Class of 2024's Last Collection [Brief & Video]
With heartfelt speeches and whole-class choreography, seniors said farewell to their teachers and underclassmen.
Members of Friends Schools class of 2025 pose for a photo before their first prom.
Photos, Dancing, Memories - and Don't Forget the Food [Brief]
Missed prom? A Quill correspondent and first-time attendee recaps everything you need to know.
Friends juniors prepare for the 2023 Homecoming dance.
'Back to the Future' at Friends School [Brief]
Homecoming 2023 threw students from the '80s to the future, as DJ Ok got everyone on their feet, and even faculty busted a move.
Fans line up for snowballs from a Kona Ice truck during a break in the rain on Scarlet and Grey day.
Scarlet & Grey Day Hits the Quarter Century Mark [Brief]
On a recent rainy Saturday, Park and Friends School sports teams faced off in a series of contests, cheered on by hundreds of soggy fans.
On the final day of Spirit Week, seniors dressed in Friends School colors - scarlet and grey - for the annual Pep Rally.
A Silly, Spirited Week [Brief]
Leading up to Rivalry Day, students dressed up to show their school spirit - and sense of humor.
A senior accesses the Common App landing page for the University of Delaware. As college deadlines approach, the class of 24 is sleepy and stresses.
Seniors Feel College Pressure as Early Deadlines Approach [Brief]
The mood in senior hall is tense, as sleep-starved teens scramble to finish their essays - along with a heavy load of mid-semester schoolwork.
The Morgan State University Marching Band processes down the Friends School driveway, lined with cheering crowds of students, from preschoolers to 12th graders.
In a Year of Tragedy, Morgan Band Concert a Particular Gift [Brief]
Friends students expressed gratitude for the marching band's energetic performance - especially so soon after a shooting on the Morgan State University campus injured five students.
In Orioles fan and 12th grade dean Josh Carlins office, Friends memorabilia and a recent Baltimore Sun front page celebrating the teams winning season have pride of place.
Fans Dress for MLB Success on Friends' 'Orange Thursday' [Brief]
Led this season by an exciting core of young, up-and-coming stars, the Orioles have won back the hearts of many Friends School fans.
Award-winning novelist Jenny Offill visits the 10th grade English class of Rob Traviesso - her own former student.
Upper School Author Visit Brings Reunion [Brief]
Novelist Jenny Offill spent a day on campus meeting with students at the invitation of her own former student - English teacher Rob Travieso.
Senior Maeve Reichert, head of the literary magazine Mock Turtle, talks to potential 9th grade recruits during the 2023 clubs fair.
Highlights From Upper School Clubs Fair [Brief]
Dozens of clubs showed their stuff and courted new members at the high-energy, candy-fueled gathering on the quad.

School Has Little to Fear From Water-Borne Parasite

Despite the caution tape around Friends water fountains, a Biology teacher and school nurses say most Upper Schoolers are at next to no risk from bacteria found in Baltimore city reservoir.
Mason Cost
Water fountains in Forbush Hall were wrapped with Caution tape after low levels of a parasite found in the water supply caused a boil-water advisory in Baltimore this fall.

Earlier this month, water fountains around Friends School were wrapped in bright yellow caution tape. News of a parasite circulated in the halls. Students wondered what was going on. 

For many people, the word “parasite” evokes disturbing images of flesh-eating worms from horror movies. But our own faculty and staff experts – Upper School biology teacher David Brock and nurses Lynne Anonye and Jocelyn Booth – say this isn’t the case currently.

Since Friends is responsible for a variety of people with a variety of vulnerabilities, it has to follow public health guidelines. So on September 28th, when the Baltimore City Department of Public Works issued an advisory about the parasite, the school took decisive action. 

But Mr. Brock says city officials didn’t clearly communicate the risks to the public.

“I’m drinking the water out of my fountain right now without any hesitation whatsoever,” says Brock.

Surprisingly, says Brock, when you know the science, most healthy people are at almost no risk of illness from the parasite, because of the low chances of consuming one in the first place. And even if a parasite gets into a person’s system, their stomach acid is likely to kill it.

The parasite that affected the water in the Druid Hill Reservoir is called Cryptosporidium, commonly known as “crypto.” The amount of crypto found at Druid Hill on September 28 was about 0.09 oocysts – eggs, basically – per liter of water. 

In comparison, a significant 1993 outbreak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin had between 0.6-1.3 oocysts per liter. 

In that case, many people had so much crypto in their systems that the waste products of the parasites caused dangerous levels of dehydration and diarrhea.

Our threat was much lower. There were no reported cases of serious symptoms. In fact, we only knew about the crypto in the water because of routine testing of the reservoir – unlike the situation in Milwaukee, when an outbreak of illnesses led to the discovery of the parasite.

In Baltimore, the recommended guidelines for boiling water came from an abundance of caution for those with weakened immune systems: the immunocompromised, the young, and the elderly.

So why did such a scary message get out there? Brock has a theory.

“Most situations where there’s some kind of outbreak or some kind of warning, the people giving the warning don’t often know enough of the science themselves to explain what’s going on,” he says.  And it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

But as Lynne Anonye and Jocelyn Boothe, Friends School nurses, explained, even in situations that carry a low risk for most folks, some must remain mindful about their health. Young, old, immunocompromised, and other vulnerable people in the affected area needed to take extra care to boil their water or use bottled water.

Good news, though. Even those groups don’t need to worry about crypto in Baltimore’s water anymore. As of October 3, no Cryptosporidium has been detected in the Druid Hill Reservoir.

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About the Contributors
Khalil Lovett
Khalil Lovett, Managing Editor
Khalil, class of '25, enjoys reading, reviewing, and learning. He also enjoys helping Quill writers write; he loves the feeling of success from a story’s completion.
Caroline Toll
Caroline Toll, Managing Editor
Caroline, class of '25, spends her time at Friends creating for the Quill and the yearbook, playing in the wind ensemble, playing badminton, and volunteering with the Hunger Committee at the Baltimore Station. In her free time, she likes to read, bake, do creative projects, go on walks, and take care of her plants.
Mason Cost
Mason Cost, Contributor
Mason, class of ‘25, is a journalism student and an athlete at Friends. He plays tennis and volleyball, and likes spending time outside.
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