Being Safe Comes at a Price

Being Safe Comes at a Price

Certain Illinois schools implement new active shooter alarms, is this the answer for school safety?

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Noblesville, Indiana

Palmdale, California

Lexington Park, Maryland

Savannah, Georgia

Parkland, Florida

Above I've named only 5 of the 23 school shootings that occurred just in 2018 alone. Statistically, with about 180 school days a year, on average, there is a shooting once every eight school days. 113 innocent lives ended or injured at the hands of a gun.

Let that sink in.


https://www.parents.com/news/there-have-already-been-18-school-shootings-in-2018-and-its-only-february/

Mass shootings are increasingly becoming the 'norm' in our society. Our children are growing up prepared for the worst, just sitting ducks waiting for an attack. Teachers are trained as to where to hide their children if an active shooter was to intrude. Parents anxiously send their children to school hoping they will return later that day. It is unbelievably transparent that we have an issue in our society, but until common sense gun laws are implemented, what can we do to protect ourselves?

Schools across the country have made adjustments in their buildings to ensure the safety of their students and prevent shootings, from upping the number of security guards to creating a more secure 'sign in' process. During my winter break home I visited my former High School. I walked in only to see my school security was completely revamped and I was required to be escorted around the school after receiving a sticker with my picture on it. When I was a student there, the environment was secure with security guards but the climate overall was more lenient. A drastic change since I attended school to say the least. School administrations are doing everything they can as they are fearful that they could be next.

Some schools have taken greater initiatives than others.

More than 20 schools in mostly the suburbs of Illinois have implemented a new security system that would notify the police in case of an active shooter on campus. The alarm, taking a similar look to a fire alarm, is put into the hallways of the schools open for any faculty member or student to set the alarm off. This impressive step was certainly not a cheap and easy fix, with the systems costing around $90,000 per school, it is obvious this system will not be accessible to all.


https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/406998-illinois-schools-install-active-shooter-alarms

Something all 20 or so schools have in common: they are all private schools. It seems that taking the measures to ensure the safety of our youth comes with a price that only the wealthiest students can afford. In more affluent school districts, security is taken very seriously and they are very particular about the people they let in given their high-tech security systems. In districts with a lower budget, the security is less severe.

We are going to continue to have this problem if our lawmakers stand idly by as they hold off the gun reform conversation and put their students in danger. Until action is taken, we should all be able to grow as individuals and as learners in a safe environment, no matter what your socio-economic status.

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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
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This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


cpabel
cpabel

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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