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Travel Ban, Protests, School Choice, Oh My!

Words by Caelin Mills 

As we have started to settle into the Trump administration, it seems as though nothing has settled. What the hell is going on?

Let’s start with the infamous travel ban, or as the left (and the media) like to call it, the Muslim ban. It was a temporary freeze. Let’s get that straight right now. The countries affected were selected by the Obama administration as terrorism hot spots. These countries, many of which without a central government, have been compromised by extremists from both ISIS and Al-Qaeda. It is not a ban on Muslims for a few reasons. First, everyone from these countries is barred through the legislation. This is where the counter argument “but he said Christians would be given special privilege” comes in. Yes, in these countries, Christians are not only the minority, but are severely persecuted. Not to mention, all of the countries, excluding Somalia, ban Jewish people from their countries. No one bats an eye!

How is this a ban of an entire religion when 87 percent of the world’s Muslims aren’t affected by the travel ban? The plan was implemented with the sole intention of being able to buy time to create and implement more intensive vetting measures for the purpose of national security. To allow the refugee crisis to be taken advantage of, as ISIS has explicitly said they intend to, is extremely dangerous. They’ve claimed to have over 4,000 undercover extremists in the European Union under the illusion of being refugees.

Courtesy of https://muslimstatistics.files.wordpress.com

National security isn’t the only threat coming from the influx of refugees coming into the U.S. Statistics coming from the Office of Refugee Resettlement show that over 90 percent of Middle Eastern refugees are on food stamps and over 70 percent are on cash welfare. With our own economic issues, and our ever-rising national debt, how can this continue? There are serious monetary concerns that come with attitudes embracing open borders. There are so many citizens of this great country that need assistance such as this and are unable to receive it. Yes, there are citizens of ours that abuse these systems as well, but that’s a debate for another day.

The focus should be not on bringing as many people as possible into the United States, but fixing the problems they’re fleeing from in their home countries. Radical Islamic Terrorism is that problem. For the time being, we must be able to address that problem with those we are able to take in. Then, we will continue to bring in refugees fleeing the horrors of terrorism in the Middle East. However, we must also be ready with a tactical approach to address the root of the problem overseas.

As for the protests. Seriously, I don’t even know where to start because there are literally protests everywhere. Yes, we have the freedom of assembly, and it is a wonderful freedom we have. However, destruction does not constitute as free speech. I am disgusted with the actions that have taken place at New York University and the University of California Berkeley.

Let’s start at Berkeley. Conservative figure and author Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at the school. He was unable to speak as riots broke out on campus. When I say riots, I mean full fledged destruction. Windows were shattered, things were burned in the street, a student attending the event was pepper sprayed in her face — on camera. Yiannopoulos was called a Nazi, which we’ll get to in a minute. Now, let’s see what happened the next day at NYU. Conservative speaker Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, was scheduled to speak. He was sprayed with pepper spray and interrupted by protesters, unable to finish the speech.

Courtesy of Ted Goldberg

I know people may think that your freedom of speech gives you the freedom to “protest” like this. This is rioting, this is disorderly conduct, this is the opposite of what you say it is. You’re really going to riot and deny someone their freedom of speech, and then use the same thing you’re attacking as your excuse? I don’t know these people personally, or their level of intellect, but are you stupid? You were so unwilling toward a differing opinion, that you resort to violence? And you think that’s your right? Give me a break. You caused $100,000 of damage on your own campus by throwing a fit over something you don’t like, or that hurts your feelings. Calling Yiannopoulos a Nazi shows your lack of knowledge, both on what you’re protesting, and also Nazis. He is a gay man. He is Jewish. He has been known to be romantically involved with people of color. I don’t think this makes him a white supremacist, let alone a Nazi.

And for the latest in uproar from the left, Betsy DeVos. A lot of this uproar comes from the fact that DeVos advocates for school choice, something that enrages unions. The idea of school choice goes like this: rather than where you live designating where you go to school (based on public school districts), parents will have other options in regards to what school their child attends. Rather than giving all families’ tax dollars to their district’s school, the tax dollars follow the student. This pushes schools to compete with one another, leading to better schools all around. It allows the family to decide which form of schooling (public, private, charter, online or home schooling) is best for their child, and fund their school that way. This means that a child living in a poor area isn’t automatically at a disadvantage because they live in the school district of an underperforming school. It allows students more opportunities to thrive. Now, if you skipped over that video up above, I suggest you watch it now before continuing on.

Voucher programs are also a large part of school choice as well, allowing students to receive money off of their tuition if they want to attend a private school. Many are angry about this, thinking money shouldn’t be going to religious institutions. This is absurd. No one is forcing people to receive an education at a private school. If you don’t want your child to attend private school, don’t.

Full webpage found here

I lived this first hand. I am from Cleveland. Not a suburb of Cleveland. I don’t know if any of you know the current state of the Cleveland Municipal School District, but it isn’t great. It actually received an F on its ‘School Report Card’ through the Ohio Department of Education for the 2015-2016 school year. It shows underperformance in English, language arts,\ and math as well as literacy improvement and academic progress. The Cleveland Municipal School District received an F in graduation rates too, with only 69 percent of students graduating in four years, and 74 percent graduating in five years.

No, my family wasn’t able to move to a city with better schools. My dad is a Cleveland police officer, and there was a law in place then where city workers were required to live in the city of Cleveland. My parents did not know what to do as they couldn’t send me to these clearly failing public schools. I attended public school for Kindergarten, then was accepted into the voucher program, allowing me to attend private schools in the city of Cleveland through grade school and high school. My mom had to stay home and take care of me growing up because my dad’s job didn’t have a set schedule and there wasn’t another option for child care if both were working. They wouldn’t have been able to afford thousands and thousands of dollars in private school tuition on their own. It’s because of the voucher system I was able to attend excellent schools, learn and do an innumerable amount of things I would’ve never been able to do had I been forced to attend Cleveland schools.

I will forever be grateful for the opportunities opened to me through the voucher program. And guess what, I went to school with people who were in the same boat as me, yet may not have been Catholic, but their parents wanted better schools for their children, so they attended private school anyway. This shouldn’t be about religion. Yes, it’s a part of some (not all) private institutions, but how is that important when comparing a 99.9 percent graduation rate to a 69 percent graduation rate? I mean, how is this even a debate? Seriously, how are people arguing against more educational choices and better opportunities for students?

Oh, right, because Republicans are evil and must be stopped. Got it.

 

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