Participation trophies promote materialistic thinking in youth athletics

By Lucy Celentano

Managing editor

As I clean out my cluttered closet during my senior year in preparation for moving out of my childhood home and starting the next chapter of my life in college, I uncover a dusty box filled to the brim with junior recreational sports trophies. From soccer, to dance and softball, I did not find my niche until fifth grade when I pursued competitive gymnastics, which I stuck with until the commencement of my high school career. As I cycled through many sports looking for one that I wanted to devote my time to, one theme remained constant: participation trophies were distributed at the termination of every season. Throughout all of these sports, I have no recollection whatsoever of extraordinary behavior or participation worthy of an end-of-season reward. Currently, the vast majority of recreational youth sports distribute trophies, medals, certificates, and other forms of materialistic praise to participants. Not only does this practice reward mediocre behavior, it also conveys the idea to children starting from a young age that materialistic items are the ultimate goal following hard work. Trophies should not be distributed to all participants in youth sports.

Distribution of trophies may be proctored with the intention of encouraging players to play their hardest and prevent a sentiment of disappointment if only one winner is chosen. While this concept is beneficial in theory, it promotes the idea that at the termination of hard work, the most important motive is receiving a reward. Whether it be a trophy or a medal, players associate an item as the equivalent of their hard work (or lack thereof). The Journal of Consumer research conducted a study in 2015 and concluded that children who are reinforced with material items develop two main beliefs: “Success is defined by the quality and number of material good an individual owns and acquiring certain surmount challenges products makes people more attractive.” This “everyone’s a winner” momento can yield serious challenges as the child matures, such as superficial behavior. Hard work is required to accomplish any sort of goal, and rewarding every participant regardless of their effort or ability to throughout the season, says otherwise.

To add, players receiving rewards for mediocre performance are reinforced for less than satisfactory behavior. In many sports leagues, individuals that do not show up or do not put in the maximum amount of work are still rewarded, installing unrealistic expectations about the requirements of genuinely being a “winner”. Simply attending games and practices and doing what participants are instructed to do also gives young athletes the wrong idea about what it takes to truly be an athlete. Overcoming obstacles in order to eventually reach the finish line is a skill that all young children should learn, considering this is a prominent theme that will remain with them throughout their educational and professional careers as adults. In the “Top Dog: The Series of Winning and Losing,” Psychology series of books, authors Bronson and Ashley Merryman claim that under pressure and competition, 25% of individuals are unaffected, 25% perform worse than they would without these circumstances, and 50% perform their best. It is evident that students and adults alike, both are more prone to peak performance under competitive circumstances.

Rewarding athletes with participation trophies validates the wrong type of behavior. Individuals should learn from a young age that being a winner requires much more than attending practices and putting in the minimum amount of work.  At the end of the day, a “fist bump” or words of encouragement may be the best reward a child can receive.

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Super testing schedules increase conflicts for students and teachers

As the end of the school year approaches, the Bay has begun preparing the testing schedule for Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced International Cambridge Education (AICE), SAT, Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and End of Course (EOC) exams. Certain AP, AICE and honors classes require a proctored end of year exam during school hours. Due to these exams, a large number of students must be excused from their regular class schedules in order to attend the test. Therefore, numerous conflicts arise for students and faculty alike during the assigned testing period.

At the Bay, there are 32 AP and 23 AICE courses available for students, with more than two-thirds of AICE courses having multiple days for exams. Students taking exams are automatically excused from classes regardless of the time scheduled for the test. Therefore, teachers and students must accommodate their schedules to better fit the testing schedule. Students must make sure they are conversant with their teachers about their work  and must ensure they are on track with their curriculums, regardless of missing class. This requires test takers to maintain their grades as well as focus on passing exams.

 Even though some students may not have a conflict, students who do not take higher-level courses may be affected, as well. Teachers who oversee AP and AICE exams must have been certified to teach those advanced courses, regardless of the subject. Teachers who may instruct both regular, and higher-level courses will not be available to teach due to proctoring testing sessions. Furthermore, teachers who may have a substantial number of students absent from class may adjust their lesson plans to better accommodate all to ensure important material is not missed. Since teachers may be proctoring exams, the Bay has the responsibility to assign a substitute teacher to oversee the students in their prospective classrooms. Teachers may be unable to give the assignments they wish to assign due to their absence. Overall, students and teachers alike are affected by the testing schedule.

As a solution to these scheduling conflicts, the Bay has
declared certain exams to be on Super Testing Days. Super Testing Days are
exclusively reserved for students testing and no classes are held. Overall,
there are no conflicts with student schedules. In the past, Super Testing Days
have been assigned to Reading FSA, Writing FSA, SAT, Biology I EOC, Algebra I
EOC, Geometry EOC, and United States History EOC exams; in Broward County,
these assessments must be passed in order to graduate.
Super Testing Days are required to be scheduled at the Bay once over
2,000 students are testing. This year, there will be six Super Testing Days,
removing an SAT day from last year’s schedule due to only 1,500 students
testing. The State of Florida allows for schools to choose the dates of state
exams; the Bay ensures the dates of these tests to not be on certain AP and
AICE testing dates. Super Testing Days have benefitted students immensely by
allowing students to concentrate on preparing only for their assigned exams.
Additionally, students who are not scheduled to attend school can focus on
their studies and assignments.

Even though the Bay has proposed Super Testing Days to be a
solution to testing conflicts, these dates do not allow students and teachers
to meet for classes. Therefore, teachers must ensure students are prepared for
these exams prior to the testing date. Fourth quarter is the time when testing
is taking place; compared to other quarters, it is known to be unproductive: it
is difficult to accomplish tasks and learn new material due to students being
taken out of class. Additionally, these assigned dates changed from before AP
and AICE testing to during, causing more conflicts. With the number of students
and number of advanced-level courses at the Bay, it is extremely difficult to
ensure the needs of all students are met; the faculty and staff at the Bay has
attempted to accommodate as many students as possible and are working towards
decreasing the number of students affected by the exam testing schedule.

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Should Cypress Bay build a new parking garage in place of the student lot?

Yes:

By Jennifer Silverman

Cypress Bay’s parking lot is hectic and causes many issues such as traffic jams, car accidents and more. This jam-packed lot full of new drivers is often the site of small accidents. This conveniently close parking lot lacks the proper amount of spaces to allow room for all drivers to park. Many students have no other option but to utilize the parking lot at Vista View Park. This is frustrating and even unfair to some students who did not purchase a parking pass at the end of the previous school year. A parking pass for the student parking lot is $50 and students who choose not to pay, or cannot pay the $50, have to park at Vista, enduring a longer walk and more traffic. If Cypress Bay built a parking garage in place of the current student lot, there would be plenty of spaces for all students, terminating the use of the Vista lot.  Many students enjoy catching up with their friends after school in the parking lot, which slows the traffic of moving vehicles. Additionally, this parking garage can serve as another safety measure to keep unwanted guests out. If one does not have a parking pass, the gate will not rise, and they will not have access to the parking garage. This also eliminates the issue when the gates are locked passed dismissal. Security guards will no longer have to unlock the gates, and the garage can have security cameras, watching the students, which can act as evidence for car accidents. 

NO:

By Hannah Zifrony

Features/Opinion Copy Editor

            While the parking lot at the Bay does cause many issues, such as accidents, stress and anxiety for some, implementing a parking garage would only exasperate these issues. As a parking garage would feature multiple levels of parking for students, the process of getting out of the garage would take even more time than it does now. Due to the procedure of walking up stairs or taking elevators to different floors, the lines and crowds only to get to one’s car would add time to the process, not to mention the lines of cars trying to exit campus all at once. Implementing a parking garage system would also increase the prices of a parking pass. While passes currently cost $50 per school year, after the costs for building the garage, the price of each pass would have to increase in order to make up for the funding for building the garage itself. In terms of safety, the garage would also cause multiple issues. If a garage is utilized instead of our traditional parking lot, getting out of the building would take much more time due to going down the different floors in one’s car, making it more difficult for a quick exit out of a possible emergency situation. In terms of security, also, more personnel would be needed rather than less, as there would be different floors to the garage, making police and security guards necessary at each level to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students. All in all, building a parking garage would do more harm than good, making the method we are currently using the best option.

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Student experiences trump college rankings

By Alexis Epstein

News Copy Editor

According to US News and World Report, the top five ranked schools in the nation are Princeton, Harvard, Colombia/MIT/UChicago/Yale tied for third, Stanford and Duke. This ranking is determined based on 16 factors, including first-year student retention, graduation rates, the strength of the faculty, user reviews of schools, academics, cost, student life, services, post-graduate employment and salary outcomes among others. Although all of these factors are all important in deciding which school to attend, a university’s academic ranking does not necessarily determine one’s future success. Rather, it is about the experience the student has. No matter what school a student attends, they have the opportunity to pave their own path and make the memories they will carry with them throughout their lives. There is more to a college than the factors US News and World Report use to rank universities.

Most colleges require the same introductory and prerequisite classes for one’s major studies; therefore, they have a common foundation no matter which university an individual attends. Students learn many of the same concepts whether they attend a community college or an Ivy League university. For example, Florida Gulf Coast University and University of Florida both offer Finance as a major, and require their students to take Business Finance in order to graduate. Although the class may be more challenging at one school than another, students are obtaining the same knowledge and information. Once an individual is working in the “real world,” their experience and what they can contribute to the company begins to be more important than where they got their degree. A recent article from Forbes reported that finance courses“provide useful knowledge and techniques, but they also signal to potential employers that the student has taken hard subjects.” At the end of the day, an individual is taking the same general education and core classes; therefore, what school one takes them at is inconsequential. 

College is about the pursuing one’s major and taking advantage of the activities offered outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to join clubs, participate in extracurricular activities and apply for internships. College shouldn’t be all about work, as it is the prime time of students’ lives; therefore, they should enjoy themselves as well. Students can meet new people and having unique experiences, as well as enjoying time with friends. When a student looks back at their time in college, they remember their friends and the memories they make. Almost all schools no matter their academic ranking, have diversified extracurriculars. These organizations range from social to academic, religious, political, community service, theater, cultural, sports and so many more. They can provide a sense of community and enhance self-awareness.

College is part of the educational path for most students, and eventually leads to finding a career. In the end, most people obtain a degree. The only aspect that differs between schools’ diplomas are the name of the university written on the diploma. Each company and job position have their own criteria that they are looking for when they are choosing who they will hire. Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania professor and the author of a new paper on job skills Peter Cappelli said when companies are hiring recent college graduates, they do not look at their academics as heavily as they focus on internships, as it is a “crucial attribute.” Internships occur nationwide, and do not necessarily have to be in the same city where the student attends school; it is the “work experience” that makes a candidate more competitive. Companies are more focused on how one can contribute to the organization and after a few years, it no longer matters where an individual went to school but the impact they have made. 

Clearly, there is more to a college than its academic rank. Students should prioritize getting the full college experience, rather than just the school’s ranking alone. Individuals have to consider more than the academics, as their work experience and memories are what they will truly carry with them after they graduate. 

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Life-threatening allergic reactions can be prevented with EpiPen education

BY: LUCY CELENTANO

MANAGING EDITOR

At the age of twelve, I vividly recall being rushed to the hospital where I was given a double dose of Benadryl and monitored until I was in stable condition and my hives subsided. In that moment, I had absolutely no idea what I consumed that sent me into anaphylactic shock. After hours of concern and physical pain, I realized the pistachio shavings used to garnish the meal I ordered were the reason behind my reaction.

Every three minutes, a food prompted allergic reaction sends someone to the emergency room. Roughly 40 percent of these cases are patients in anaphylactic shock an allergic reaction with potentially fatal symptoms like throat closure and inflammation of the tongue and mouth.The only way to stop this reaction is by directly injecting epinephrine into the thigh. Usually more than one injection dosage is needed to terminate the reaction, which is why auto-injectors are now sold in packs of two across the United States. EpiPen is the most common brand of epinephrine auto injectors and they are essential in these emergency situations and should be made more readily accessible by teachers, students and administrative figures in schools immediately. In addition, a broader education regarding warning signs for those who are going into anaphylactic shock and how to handle the situation are necessary.

Upon initial signs of allergic reaction, many individuals are unaware they have a life threatening allergy that requires instant treatment. According to the Center for Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), approximately 20-25 percent of epinephrine administrations in schools involve individuals whose allergy was unknown at the time of the reaction. For this reason, all teachers and school employees should be required to carry auto-injectors with them, or have them readily accessible in the classroom. In the commercial restaurant industry, any operation that is selling any sort of food is required to have an auto-injector on site. This same principle should be applied in schools across the nation for the simple reason that many students are unfortunately unaware of their allergies and having the epinephrine on site could save someone’s life.

Considering the life-threatening challenges that allergies may present, classrooms should be made more allergy-friendly. Although many elementary schools have a “peanut free” table in the lunchroom, this is not sufficient protection for those students who suffer from severe allergies considering many individuals are unaware they even have life threatening allergies. In a study conducted by FARE, about one in three children with food allergies report being bullied as a result of their condition and children with food allergies are twice as likely to be bullied in school settings from the age of six to 18.Ostracizing students with allergies is not the solution whatsoever. Sitting alone at the nut-free table from the ages of four to seven did not do anything to help me when my reading buddy opened up a package of peanut butter crackers next to me during class in third grade, which triggered one of my many reactions since my diagnosis.

A broader education must be administeredregarding how to handle these types of situations in the case that a student does come into contact with an allergen. Nut-free lunch tables are beneficial to a certain extent, but for those students who are allergic and do happen to come into contact withallergens outside the classroom setting, there should always be school employees readily available and capable of administering treatment after recognizing initial symptoms.

The problem of anaphylactic allergies does not have a simple solution.Roughly two students in every classroom have allergies. Given the fact that there is currently no cure for life threatening allergies, a greater education on behalf of students and teachers and accessibility of auto-injectors is mandatory in controlling preventable allergic accidents in schools.

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FLASH OF BRIL ESSAY

Flash of Brilliance: Should college applications require supplemental essays?

YES

Applying to college is a stressful time for seniors, and supplemental essays are a chance for the Admissions Office to see the student for who they are. Students applying to schools that have required writing pieces can reuse them, so they don’t need to spend hours working on 500-word, extra essays. Students should write about themselves and what makes them unique. Colleges are able to learn about a life story, a learning disability or even a health issue through one’s essays.  As these events shape us into who we are, this could be a factor as to why we are choosing a certain path in life. Personally,I want to study medicine because my grandma passed away from cancer, and the effect this had on my family is something I want to share with the admissions department. Through the Common and Coalition Applications, students have the opportunity to share a personal experience with the admissions council depending on the colleges to which they are applying. An essay does not necessarily prove that a student has what it takes to be the perfect “fit” for the school, but it shows the experiences that made an applicant the person that they are today. One cannot simply get to know a person by their grades, but they can by their story, which supplemental essays help individuals share.

-Remi Schwartz

 

NO

When applying to colleges via one of the general applications (traditionally through Common or Coalition), students are required to write a personal essay about themselves and how they have been shaped to be the person they are today. This allows colleges to get to know the student and see if he or she will be a strong “fit” for the school based on one essay. Students can dedicate time and effort into their personal essay, which most colleges require, instead of having the additional worry of supplementals. Colleges are academic institutions, so one’s rigor, grades and schooling are important when accepting a student; however, the one personal essay is enough to showcase their personality. Supplemental essays are unnecessary additions to the application process and students should not be required to complete them. Schools are getting more difficult to get into every year, so they are looking for the best, academically, when deciding which students to accept. Although classes do not equate to everything in terms of acceptances, it is an important factor when admitting students as it helps the schools ensure the student will be successful when taking college level courses. Seniors have enough stress applying to schools and seeing all their hard work through high school determine their future, so they don’t need the additional hardship of supplemental essays.

-Alexis Epstein

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Technology enhances classroom cheating opportunities

It is not uncommon to find students in the average high school or college classroom utilizing devices such as laptops, smartwatches, smartphones and tablets during educational instruction times. With increased prominence of technology in schools, students are given greater opportunities to collaborate with one another, explore new topics, help the environment and learn from peers, as well as other teachers around the globe.However, smart devices also give students the ability to access photos and other information without the teacher’s awareness. Unfortunately, this opportunity also brings about the potential for distraction during critical instructional time and the increased ease by which students can cheat.

In class, students can take notes, edit work and collaborate with others all on their devices, rather than the conventional pen and paper method. Applications like Google Docs and Google Drive allow individuals to share work that they complete online, promoting learning with and from others interested in the same area of study. In a research project conducted by EdTech focus on K-12 education, researcher Correy Murray found that 74 percent of teachers polled stated technology is critical in expanding on classroom content and motivating individuals. Resources such as Crash Course Youtube videos have proven beneficial in terms of instructing content that may have been missed, or even as a form of review for those looking to cram information. Additionally, 73 percent of those surveyed claimed that it helps teachers and their students respond to new learning styles. Students can pick up information they may have missed with the use of computer systems and reiterate upon material from class.

Not only are these enhanced learning opportunities advantageous in the learning process, students and teachers alike are also helping the environment, one printed handout at a time. According to a study conducted by edutopia.org, the average student uses 833 sheets of paper per school year, equating to approximately eight percent of a tree. When teachers make the executive decision to switch from paper tests, assignments and handouts to online resources, they are also significantly benefiting the environment. This same concept applies to the student as well. By taking paperless notes, one can save the planet while simultaneously keeping up with the times by following trends in electronics and technology.

While the benefits of collaboration and the positive environmental impact do prove helpful in many scenarios, the utilization of smart devices grants students increased cheating opportunities as well as potential distractions during class time. When teachers permit students to use their own personal laptops, for example, the instructor is unable to monitor the screen from their external device. Therefore, the students have the ability to open another tab and search for information that may not be permitted for the purpose of that assignment. In present day, many smartwatches have photo features, as well as cellular features, thus heightening the prospect for individuals to find means to seek external help during examination time. Although this challenge may be ever growing, the ultimate authority in the classroom lies in the hands of the teacher and through regulations such as “tech-free times” or policies like no smart devices during exams, students and teachers will be able to reach a fine balance.

In light of the benefits students, teachers and the environment can derive from accepting the increased availability of technology in schools, individuals should accept this resource and learn to work with it strategically for optimum success.

 

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Night alone in woods strengthens relationship with nature

BY JENNIFER SILVERMAN

This summer, I embarked on my ‘senior’ year at Camp Barney Medintz, a sleep away camp located in Cleveland, GA. During the summer between freshman and sophomore year in high school, campers graduate to a new unit called Juniors in Training (JIT). Instead of being in a wooden cabin with 11 girls and 2 counselors, JIT’s live in a permanent tent with 3 other girls and participate in many different activities that make this summer different from any other.

One of the unique activities JIT’s participate in is called SOLO, a period where all participants spend a night in the woods alone. During this once in a lifetime opportunity, campers spend 24 hours by themselves where they are responsible for making a fire, preparing food and essentially surviving by themselves. One intriguing aspect of this experience is that SOLO can be declared at any time. When a senior counselor calls SOLO, all 82 JITs have 15 minutes to sprint back to the tents, pack all materials and run back to the main road at camp for departure.

On the afternoon of July 10th, two of the staff members caused a disruption at lunch to draw everyone’s attention, right before they called SOLO. As I ran back to teen village where I lived for the summer, I vividly recall my heart beating in fear of what was to come.    

Without anything but water, a sleeping bag and a flashlight, I was ready to take on the challenge. In this moment, I remember feeling nervous, awaiting the next 24 intimidating hours I would spend alone in the woods. After two hours, I arrived at my campsite and was supplied with a whistle for safety, a tarp and a bag of food for dinner.

The first task I did was set up my sleeping bag, my tarp and make my fire base. Each JIT is only provided one match, making the fire-starting process intimidating. At camp, we learned not to ‘scorch’ the Earth, meaning making a fire base in a way that we don’t burn the soil and all the life that lives in it. I had to build a proper fire base by laying down tree bark on the ground. I did not enjoy this process because it was labor intensive, time consuming and I got covered in dirt. In the end I was able to start a fire which made me feel accomplished in a time of fear.

After SOLO, I was informed that only 12 out of 83 people were able to start a fire, and I was the first one. Knowing that the flame I created would provide me light, keep the bugs away and add warmth to my campsite was reassuring and made me feel accomplished.

During my time alone, I wrote a letter home, and ate dinner. I went to bed rather early, and when I woke up in the morning, it was time to go. A counselor came to pick me up, and I was reunited with the rest of the unit on the bus. Everyone shared their SOLO stories.  On the journey back to Camp Barney Menditz, I felt so relieved that my day and night alone in the woods was over. This unforgettable experience taught me that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought. SOLO gave me time to escape from reality during a busy session at camp and reflect on my life thus far and is an experience I will never forget.

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The United States must help Puerto Rico

The island of Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States (U.S.) since 1898, after the U.S. defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War. Although the island is separate from the mainland, it is controlled by the U.S. government. Its occupants pay taxes to the U.S. federal government, possess U.S. citizenship and vote in U.S. presidential primaries. However, according to the Columbia Broadcasting System, more than half of the American population do not realize that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and that its residents are U.S. citizens. Puerto Ricans have been contributing significantly to the country for over 100 years, yet they are still looked upon and treated as second-class citizens.

Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Irma in September, 2017, leaving more than one million people without power. That same month, the island was hit by Hurricane Maria. Although Maria was smaller than Irma, the effects of this powerful Category 4 storm were far more detrimental: electricity was cut off the whole island, access to clean water and food became limited and floods brought on by the storm ruined streets. According to MercyCorps.org, Maria’s destruction has led to more than 94 billion dollars in damage and the economy of Puerto Rico is expected to shrink by at least eight percent this year as a result of the hurricane. With winds of 155 miles per hour, the storm was the worst to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years; over seven months later, the island is still struggling to recover and rebuild its infrastructure.

Because Puerto Rico is considered to be a part of the U.S., it would be expected that the U.S. government would assist the struggling island; however, this has not been the case. Although the U.S. has helped minimally, it has not put forth all of its effort toward ensuring the recovery of the damaged island.

Puerto Rico is entitled to the same government response as any state in the U.S. but it has yet to receive this equal treatment. According to economist.com, after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, the U.S. federal government sent 30,000 relief workers to the city within nine days; in Puerto Rico, it sent 10,000. Within that same time frame, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved payments of 142 million dollars to victims of Harvey, but only six million to victims of Maria. The discrepancy between these government responses is undeniable and should be reevaluated.

Some may argue that the location of the island makes it difficult to provide Puerto Ricans with certain materials. While this is clearly a barrier, this cannot be used as an excuse to deprive Puerto Rico of the funds and infrastructure needed for its survival.

Congress needs to designate funds and resources to help rebuild the island as well as protect it from the potential effects of future natural disasters. It is unfathomable that people are still living without basic necessities and the U.S. has not given its all to thwart that. The U.S. has let down its Puerto Rican citizens and must find solutions in order to ease the suffering of these people as quickly as possible.

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Solution against gun violence appears counterproductive

BY: SHANTY FIERRO

MANAGING EDITOR

Following the tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) just a few short weeks ago, government officials are left with the task of preventing an incident like this from occurring ever again. While I believe that the most efficient solution would be stricter gun control laws, there have been other solutions proposed by concerned parents and legislators alike. Some suggest there be metal detectors placed in schools, others want more security personnel present. Although some of these solutions have controversy associated with them, none is worse than the idea of arming teachers.

This idea has been proposed before by National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. Following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary back in 2012, LaPierre stated, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” However, this cannot be further from the truth. According to Vox, a study, led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher, found that, “1 percent increase in gun ownership correlated with a 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate at the state level.” This suggests that the more people that have guns, the higher the gun death rate. With this research in mind, why would anyone think that arming teachers is an intelligent strategy?

Moreover, there has already been a case where a teacher who was armed fired shots in his classroom and barricaded himself inside for about 45 minutes. This report coming from NBC News stated that the teacher was in custody, but luckily no students were harmed. If events like this can happen only weeks after a mass shooting, some students may not feel safe knowing that there is a gun inside their classroom. In addition to the possible distractions the thought may cause while a student is trying to learn, there is also the frightening possibility that a student may get their hands on it, and another tragedy can occur.

Adding on to safety issues, there is also the obstacle of obtaining proper funding. There are schools all across America that have worn out textbooks, unreliable technology and insufficient supplies for the students. The government claims they cannot afford to help these schools, and are constantly cutting the budget for education. However, I hope the people in power realize that paying for teachers to take classes on how to handle a firearm and providing a firearm for each teacher will cost a large sum of money, money that they claim “not to have”.  Instead of spending all of this money to bring more guns into schools, why not invest in modern school supplies to make life easier for both teachers and students?

Lastly, a teacher’s main job is to teach. That is what they go to college to learn how to do. That is all they should be required to do. Teachers have enough trouble meeting the standards of the school boards, dealing with troubled children and whatever they may be going through in their personal lives. They have enough stress on their plate, and adding the responsibility of knowing how to operate a firearm, and having one in class is too much to add.

There is no doubt in my mind that many teachers will do whatever it takes to protect their students. That heroism was demonstrated by the teachers and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 14. There are so many ways to train teachers to avoid these situations that do not involve more guns in the classroom. Teachers should be trained to detect characteristics of possible mental health problems with their students and know how to handle them accordingly. Although there were many factors that contributed to the shooting at MSD, the main problem was an AR-15. Clearly, putting more guns in school is not beneficial for students or teachers alike.

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