The Tower joke issue is an annual PHS tradition wherein the usually serious school newspaper lightheartedly pokes fun at itself and the PHS community. It features everything from mock headlines to inside jokes to the time-honored “Tower Staff Doing Things You Wouldn’t Expect the Tower Staff to Do” section. This year, the Tower elected to include in its joke issue a two-page spread on the issue of race in today’s society.
The spread, entitled “Racial Identity,” included statistics regarding PHS viewpoints on such issues as race-based affirmative action and racial identification on standardized tests. Several personal analyses of racial issues written by PHS students were also featured.The two page centerfold graphic garnered widespread praise from the PHS community and was cited by many as a highlight of Tower Issue # ate.
“When I first saw the statistic that only 22% of PHS students support affirmative action, I was shocked,” said William Boyd ‘17. “Then I realized I was reading the joke issue! Hilarious. Can you imagine if our student body were actually that racist?”
Along with the infographic on race, the joke issue included a number of other whimsical and intriguing features, including a bicephalic amalgam of Tower faculty advisers reminiscent of Sesame Street’s famous Two-Headed Monster.
The joke issue remains a perennial favorite among students. As for future joke issues, the Tower has expressed interest in possibly covering such topics as homophobia, sexism, and former president George W. Bush’s controversial response to Hurricane Katrina.