There was a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky on Tuesday morning. The victims involved in the shooting were between ages 14 and 18 years old. 20 people in all were involved in the shooting, and 15 of these students did experience gunshot wounds. Two 15 year old students by the names of Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope died. Bailey died at the scene and Preston died at a nearby hospital. It has been announced that the killer will be charged with murder and multiple accounts of attempted murder according to Kentucky police commissioner, Richard W. sanders.
According to USA today, there have been over 200 school shootings in the U.S since the Columbine shooting in 1999. There have been 11 so far this year. The rate of people killed by guns in the U.S is 19.5 times higher than similar high income countries in the world. The Kentucky school shooting was the 11th this year. Along with the numerous shootings, there have been countless threats and social media threats. Due to social media the act of making a public threat is far easier than ever before. Recently at a high school in the area, TC Roberson High School, there was a shooting threat on a popular app, Snapchat. Due to the popular idea that school is the safest place to be, the amount of school shootings is a terrifying thing.
Story by Hallie Dodd and Aislinn Nash
On January 20 - 22 the Government faced a huge debate and the houses were divided. Unfortunately, because they couldn’t yet come to an agreement and negotiate things, the Government shut down; don't fret this isn’t the first time this has happened. One of the first Government shutdowns was on December 16, 1995.
So, what happened to cause our recent shutdown?
The whole shutdown occurred after the Government's failure to pass legislation to fund government operations and agencies. It all developed when there was a debate on what actions should be taken involving DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) immigration policy. The discussion was about whether those covered by the program should face deportation.
What does this mean?
Other than the obvious issue of them trying to end DACA, because of the shutdown thousands of “non-essential” federal workers will be put to leave off work without pay until the funding is settled. The federal services being provided that are most affected are: The Military (having to work for no pay), Air traffic control (a specific area of work given the necessary personnel and equipment to monitor the air traffic), and Social Security (a service that serves to protect “life or human property”. None of these services will be paid or hired back until funding is fixed.
How long will it last?
Both governmental parties did come to the agreement that they would like to restart negotiation as quickly as possible.
What happens next?
The government will hold another meeting, which happened January 29, 2018, this Monday and after a firm debate, they were able to come to a conclusion and end the shutdown. The Senate voting 81-18 that they move forward and continue to negotiate on immigration and spending matters.
Story by Trinity Barnwell-Thomas
Earlier this week in Santa Barbara County, California there was an abundance of flash floods and mudslides due to heavy rains; they killed at least 18 people according to ABC.com. Many homes have been destroyed and the death tolls could rise when the floodwater and mud wipes them away. Before the storm hit, thousands were evacuated. With the devastating wildfires in the area over the last 2 months, there was no vegetation to barricade the runoff from the torrential rains. Mud and flood waters swamped the streets and neighborhoods leaving behind damaged communities.
Story by Virginia Pharr
Steve Bannon, former top adviser to Donald J. Trump, claims a meeting in 2016 between a Russian lawyer and Donald Jr, Trump's eldest son, was treasonous. The meeting took place in 2016 at Trump Tower in New York. It was claimed that the meeting was on potential dirt on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump's opponent at the time. Steve Bannon now calls this meeting treasonous.
This claim comes in a book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff. In an interview, Bannon reveals his thoughts on the meeting saying quote "The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor -- with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers". In the interview, Steve Bannon also claims that that The Robert Muller investigation centers on money laundering saying quote “they're sitting on a beach trying to stop a category five hurricane”. What does this mean for Trump? Only time will tell.
Story by Franklin Bester-Sproul
One of America’s biggest problems is constantly happening under our noses and then being covered up. This will not go undetected any longer. This year a vast amount of empowering citizens have taken a stand and projected their voice to the country about how they’ve been taken advantage of by someone in a position of power. In 2016 and 2017 over sixteen accusations were made towards our president, Donald Trump, for assault and rape. It doesn’t end with political leaders though, so many famous actors and actresses have come out in recent years saying the ways they were mistreated in Hollywood.
On January 21, 2017 around the world millions of people varying in all ethnicities and genders came together at Women's Marches to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes, shed light on many issues, and to shut down rape culture. Females and males are fed up with the progression of rape culture in our society. These inspired feminists continue to shed light on this “touchy” subject. Feminists all over the country are standing up for their rights and taking away leadership from alleged rapists in power.
Many people refuse to listen to the actual definition of rape culture, which is a society that promotes sexual abuse and rape. The other common misconceptions about rape culture is that it only affects females. While most derogatory comments are made towards females, males can also fall victim. These subtle or not so subtle actions can range from song lyrics to how the justice system treats rape victims. Looking more in depth into the popular song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, you can see multiple examples of rape culture. The song itself is based off of the highly incorrect ideology that consent is just a blurred line. This idea that consent can be bended to the perpetrators want is a definite example of rape culture.
There is so much ignorance and misconceptions when it comes to rape, rape culture, feminism and consent. It is considered rape if the victim is drunk, drugged, asleep, does not actually have control over the scenario or has not given consent to the predator. Rape does not only start and end with females being the victim. Being raped is a horrible experience for everyone no matter your gender, race or sexual orientation. If you are raped, it is not your fault no matter the circumstances; you were taken advantage of.
Another extremely common idea is that feminism is working to make females “better than males”. This is not true. If a women or man is working to make females better than males they are not working towards the goals of feminism. The easiest way to describe what a feminist is would be, ”A person working to make equal rights between the genders.” This is the exact same as an “equalist”. Even though a feminist may be determined or argumentative that, in no way, makes them a feminazi. A feminazi is an extremely derogatory and offensive slur against females, that is now used too commonly against both genders. AMS Eighth grade student, Ginger Hanlon, is a very passionate feminist and had to say this, “Feminism is a term that has been used and abused for almost 200 years. People have confused this term with women who hate men or women that spread lies, but the real definition of feminism is equality. Equality of men and women. Feminism is for everyone and feminism is to spread equality not lies.” Going off of the rules of feminism, if you are person who wants equal rights between males and females, then you are a feminist.
Lastly, one of the biggest controversial subjects, consent. Although it is so controversial, it doesn’t need to be. Basically all you have to remember is that only “Yes.” means yes and anything else means no. Other than that here are some things to take into consideration. If a person is either intoxicated or high to an extent where they can no longer make rational decisions, you do not have their consent. If the person does not say anything that is the same as no and you do not have their consent. No matter what, sexual activity should never be forced and neither should consent.
Although rape culture has been part of lifestyles for generations, it's not too late to make a difference. It starts with education instead of ignorance, and taking a stand. We need to begin to take a stand against these incorrect stigmas towards such touchy subjects. If a song has grotesque lyrics or the promotion of rape in it, we shouldn’t praise it. If a Hollywood superstar has been accused of sexual assault, we shouldn’t blindly submerge ourselves into ignorance. If a person has been raped or assaulted, we shouldn’t blame them. Before we jump to an extreme conclusion about any person, organization, idea, or thing we have to understand it. All it takes one conversation; anyone can stop rape culture and it’s our responsibility to end it.
Story by Fiona Austin