On Tuesday, April 30th, the courts finally convicted the Minneapolis police officer who killed Justine Ruszczyk. After a month-long trial, the shooter, a jury convicted “Mr. Noor” on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. These together carry a maximum sentence of around 35 years, but he will likely not receive it.
Ellie McFarland | @El_FarAwayLand
With the arrival of April is the arrival of Autism Acceptance Month. Autism (also called ASD) is a neurological condition which affects speech, the senses, and perceptions. Autism Acceptance Month is about treating autistic people like regular members of society, with decency and respect. It calls attention to the way educators, caregivers, the world mistreat autistic people. Further, it seeks to open up a conversation on how to better make spaces that are welcoming for autistic people. It raises awareness about the abuse neuro-atypicals suffer. Yet, when you search “Autism” on google the first three results are links to the long-standing hate group Autism Speaks.
William Ramage | United States
Public education in America is more restrictive than it is beneficial to one’s knowledge. Students are compelled to memorize facts and become experts in subjects they cannot personally relate to or have no interest in whatsoever. With no enthusiasm or will to learn, students gain little from the learning experience. They often forget what they study shortly after the unit draws to a close and question why the information is a necessary use of their knowledge and time. This is equally detrimental to the teacher as their career begins to lose its sense of value and purpose. Educating students daily who have no desire to learn the material other than to boost their GPA, and with it their prospects of being admitted to a good college is demoralizing to the teacher who has studied that subject their entire life and found value in its practice and development.
The true meaning of learning and acquiring knowledge has been lost within the modern public education system, as students are more concerned with improving their grades than thoroughly learning the material, resulting in academic dishonesty and the feeling of dissatisfaction with the system. If students aren’t truly learning and engaging in the material, what knowledge are they gaining from the 12 years of public schooling? While studying and organization skills are also valuable takeaways from secondary school, they should not be the main outcome of many hours spent studying. In practice, public education just barely reaches the intended outcome of preparing students to become economically self-sufficient but falls short of giving students a chance to think for themselves and take their own stances on issues. Most subjects do not have a black and white objective answer, and many perspectives can be reasonably argued from multiple viewpoints. Many potentially correct arguments are shot down by teachers as they disagree with the stance or believe that their perspective is the only defensible one. It is within our nature to believe something is wrong when we do not agree with it, so it is unfair to blame educators for this behavior. It is important for students to learn that there are often multiple correct viewpoints in the real world, and schooling fails to provide examples of this reality to its students.
The grading scale used in the typical American classroom is systematically incorrect in the sense that it is very difficult to assess knowledge by a singular number. Many uncontrollable factors determine our intelligence and how we may apply it to the world. Yet, all students are measured up against each other and graded the exact same way. One student can be passionate about the subject matter at hand and devote great amounts of time to the course, while another student may earn an equal or better grade by engaging in forms of cheating. Therefore, measuring one’s knowledge and potential for success by a number is inaccurate and a very poor reflection on the student’s effort and actual desire to learn.
Many students find it difficult to concentrate in a traditional classroom environment, resulting in distraction, fidgeting, and as a consequence, poor performance. When these symptoms are brought to the attention of a parent, the student may be evaluated by a doctor and diagnosed with an attention disorder. Many of these “disorders” are falsely diagnosed, resulting in the drugging of many children who simply don’t learn the same way as lawmakers and bureaucrats want them to. This is a drastically overlooked problem as many of these students are placed on medications that may influence the formation of their personality from when they are very young, damaging their emotional state and creating future problems. This is simply the public education system forcing its participants to conform to its style to an extreme extent. Rather than mandate that all kids learn in the same way, the government should fund a variety of learning environments that can appeal to multiple learning styles.
Students are often overworked as well, leaving them with little time to enjoy their short-lived youth. Schools cram students with unnecessarily large amounts of work, with little regard to mental health or stress. While homework itself is beneficial and serves a good purpose, excessive amounts do the opposite. Overburdening students with class work can cause them to dread participating in the class and kill the last bit of innate curiosity within them. Stress disorders, sleep deprivation, and lack of free time plague the modern youth. American education needs a major reform that appeals to the needs of a younger and more involved generation. The youth is the future of our nation, and it is important to provide them with the true meaning of knowledge and cultivate a passion for learning from a young age.
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By Ryan Wood | United States
Sandy Hook, Orlando, and now Parkland; just some of the deadly shootings that have occurred in the past few years. Adam Lanza, Omar Mateen, Nikolas Cruz; just some of the people who have been responsible for these mass shootings that have been becoming increasingly common. When you really dig into it though, there’s one thing that all of these killers have in common; not one of them has been proven to be mentally stable. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who was responsible for the Parkland School shooting that took place on February 14th, 2018, was anything but mentally stable. In fact, he was even expelled from the Parkland High School a year earlier. His Instagram account was even filled with posts of him holding weapons of all sorts in a very sick manner.
It can be seen that he had issues, and obviously, there was no one there to help him or walk him through any of this. Sadly, this is a problem in America, and after an event like Parkland, the magnitude of it seems to be pretty large. Now is the time to bring along a change in our country’s mental health system, and we must begin to really educate our children on the risks of it all.
Furthermore, one of the things we will begin to hear a lot about in the coming days is the whole “ban guns” song and dance. As everytime a shooting in America happens this is what politicians, more specifically Democrats and liberals, point at. They attempt to blame the gun for the problem, when in reality that was not what caused this shooting. Once again, what caused this shooting was a mentally unstable kid not getting the help he needed. Realistically guns would have actually helped stop this shooting before it escalated into 17 deaths. If there was an administrator inside that building with a firearm on him, there might have only been one death in Parkland; the shooter. This idea sounds far-fetched, but it truly is not. Keeping a gun of some sort locked away in a school, whether it be in a safe somewhere in the principal’s office or kept away in a designated teachers classroom is not a bad idea. Maybe even require a certain percentage of teachers to be trained in firearm safety. We must do anything to work towards keeping children safer as school should be a place we should be able to go and feel comfortable. Parents should not have to send their child to school and wonder whether or not they will return home safely.
However, these steps are not the only way to prevent school shootings in the future and are perhaps not even the most effective. As the only surefire way to stop shootings in general from happening is to start helping kids at a young age stay mentally aware and stable. We must make sure kids know the signs and risks of emotional disorders, and make sure they understand what steps to take when they show these signs. They need to understand that there are so many people and so many organizations out there dedicated to assisting them to find the help they need. This should all take place in required classes from the time a child is in fourth or fifth grade until they’re graduating high school. If we can effectively implement this, even the thought of killing someone could be stopped. With that said, we the people must tell our lawmakers that it is time for a change! It is time that we help people all around the nation feel safer and more secure.
In conclusion, it is time to start educating children in America about the effects of mental health and mental disorders. It is time that teachers become trained to stop an active shooter. Most importantly, it is time that Washington stops blaming guns, and starts making progress toward reforming the failing mental health system!
By Emily Lynn | USA
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has refused to support the nomination of Alex Azar for the Secretary of Health and Human Services unless he upholds Trump’s promise of allowing safe import of prescription drugs for lower costs.
During the hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Rand Paul urged Alex Azar to be a representative of the people instead of Big Pharma.
“Big Pharma manipulates the system to keep prices high. It is not capitalism, and it’s big government, and we’ve got to fix it. You need to convince those of us who are skeptical that you’ll be a part of fixing it and won’t be beholden to Big Pharma”
The very passionate senator went on to state that he would not support Azar’s nomination unless he could provide a plan to keep President Trump’s campaign promise. Paul also went on to say that there is no generic alternative for insulin, which is included on the list of essential medications by the World Health Organization. This is what allows the manufacturers to sell the drug for any price they want for the important medication, which is believed to have been abused.
President Trump called for eliminating “barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products” as a part of his health care plan. He also mentioned “allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.”
Dr. Paul hopes to keep healthcare and medication affordable for all and to replace our current healthcare system.