(Editor’s note: This is the final installment of letters sent in by Escalon High School students as part of a class project. Letters were chosen at random and provide an overview of the various topics students addressed during the assignment.)
Don’t Forget The Veterans
I believe that homeless veterans is a big issue around the world in today’s society. They should be treated as heroes, not just people we throw to the curb. They risk their lives for us Americans to have freedom from other terrorists. Without veterans and active duty military, we would probably be a very different country today and we may have been invaded more times by terrorists.
Veterans should be able to come back from duty and be able to get the help they need free of charge. They should not be pushed to the back of the lines and forgotten about. Most veterans but not all come back with something physically or mentally wrong with them and some of them don’t have the money to get the help they need. Veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless than Americans due to poverty and lack of support networks. They tend to live in cities and urban areas and they struggle with substance abuse, mental health issues, PTSD, and other forms of mental illnesses.
Helping homeless veterans find housing needs and addressing the obstacles they might come by makes life so much easier for them because they can count on having a nice place to stay at night. Just in California’s Los Angeles alone, there are nearly 8,000 homeless veterans accounting for 23 percent of all veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States, which is more than half of all unsheltered veterans. That is why healthcare and anything a veteran needs, needs to be free of charge because they did more things to protect us than we will ever know.
Talking About Discipline
Hitting your kids as punishment may be effective in the short term, but can cause a host of problems in the long term. You might think hitting is a quick alternative to say a timeout or actually explaining to your child why what they did was wrong and 70 percent of Americans in 2012 would agree with you. In an article titled, Hitting kids: American Parenting and Physical Punishment, Richard V. Reeves, the Director of the Future of the Middle Class Initiative, wrote, “Children spanked frequently and/or severely are at higher risk for mental health problems, ranging from anxiety and depression to alcohol and drug abuse, according to some research studies. Children whose parents hit them regularly may also develop more distant parent-child relationships later on. There is also robust evidence of an increased incidence of aggression among children who are regularly spanked” (Reeves 2014). As stated by Reeves, children who were spanked frequently are at higher risk for mental health issues and become more distant to their parents. These are not good things for our youth, considering your kids will be running the world when you are older.
In another article written by Nemours Children Health, titled, Disciplining Your Child, Nemours Children Health writes, “Whatever your child’s age, it’s important to be consistent when it comes to discipline. (…) Rather than teaching kids how to change their behavior, spanking makes them fearful of their parents and teaches them to avoid getting caught” (Nemours Children Health 2018). In the article, Nemours Children Health suggests keeping punishment consistent throughout a child’s life is better than spanking your kids. That punishment can be very different for varying age groups, but none of the punishments involve hitting. Ways to avoid punishing children can be explaining how you expect your child to act beforehand, setting boundaries, timeouts, and establishing rules. As a child gets older, these restrictions can be altered and even disappear entirely if they act accordingly.
Take Control Of Technology
In this world, technology is always improving. The history behind the everyday things we use as transportation and communication is astonishing. Cars help us get to our destinations faster while phones help us keep in touch with those around us. As a society, we have developed great inventions in technology but many are being used incautiously. Cars and cell phone are something most people have to help them in their everyday lives. Since millions of people own a car and a phone, these two great inventions have emerged together causing an elevated amount of car accidents.
Everyone knows the risks of texting while driving, but it seems like everyone is ignoring this problem. The biggest percentage of car collisions are caused by distracted drivers with almost 3,000 deaths in a year. There are laws trying to prevent this rate of death but no one seems to listen to these laws. The cause of these car accidents is up to us now. We get to choose if we want to risk our life by answering a simple “wyd” text message. Since most people own a car, we do not just risk our own lives but we risk the lives of others. The world needs to acknowledge that the distractions of a simple lighting box can cause lives to be destroyed.
We have such advanced technology that phones have a way to provide a distraction-free driving experience. Some phones provide it for us and all we have to do is click a button to silence any distracting notifications while there are a million different apps that anyone can download to avoid distractions. If we get something more important than a “wyd” text message, then we can arrive at the nearest stop and deal with the more important problem without risking the lives of others.
There are an endless amount of ways to prevent car collisions caused by a glowing box. As a society, we all need to contribute to ending the problem with texting and driving. If we all could just keep our eyes on the road and stop picking up our phones every time it rings, the world would be different. Those 3,000 lives would still be with us. We can have advanced technology without them being a risk to society.
Tasers And Nightsticks Only
Police brutality should be stopped. We all know that the best solution to get rid of police brutality is by making a law that makes every commander, officers and sheriffs get rid of guns. There is absolutely no reason for police officers to have guns, having tasers and nightsticks should be enough.
When police officers have guns they make you feel like we’re in the wrong, even if we’re not guilty, they also get us scared. Officers should be more kind to us instead of giving us an attitude and talking to us like we are guilty of something. We live in a world where all we care for is ourselves and only ourselves, no one else, therefore police prefer to open fire to protect themselves instead of tasing the person and placing handcuffs on them gently, no need to stop their airway, leading them to die because they can’t breathe. Military bases should be the ONLY ones to have guns.
Samanta Rodriguez Ramirez