Category Archives: Columns

Column: Need to keep DACA going is crucial for immigrants, our nation

Art by Tori Roberts

By Christy Avery

Every year, thousands of children are brought to the United States with undocumented parents. Unable to support themselves or control their circumstances, they run the risk of being deported back to their country because of their parents. Former President Barack Obama implemented a solution: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A policy that gives children who come to the U.S. under the age of 16 with illegal parents a chance to get relief from deportation, this valuable system is crucial to so many in this nation. But with President Donald Trump now in office, it could spell the end of the program.     

Instead of building walls, Trump needs to keep this policy in place and give help to those who need it most.

One advantage of DACA is that children do not age out of the program. This means that he or she could potentially reap the benefits for the rest of his or her life as long as they do not commit a crime or pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Mila Koumpilova, reporter from the Star Tribune in Minnesota, stated that “A national survey of DACA recipients last year found that almost 60 percent obtained a new job, about half opened their first bank account, and 57 percent got a new driver’s license.”

Another benefit DACA brings is the protection from unlawful presence penalties. Normally, immigrants begin accumulating unlawful presence– presence without being admitted or parole– once they turn 18.

However, with DACA in place, the risk is lower– there is no accumulation of unlawful presence, and people with it are considered in authorized stay. This is true for the deferred action period as well, so the renewal process does not do any harm.

Of course, no policy is perfect. DACA has a couple of glaring problems– one being that even though people under it are considered lawfully present in the U.S., they have no nonimmigrant or immigrant status. This runs the risk of one being wrongfully denied employment or other benefits.

However, if this were to change, DACA would be even better for the recipients. DACA currently safeguards nearly 790,000 people, according to the Pew Research Center.

A possible solution for this is to carve a bigger path to permanent residence for those who wish to remain in the U.S. For example, ensuring that those who are eligible receive or try to receive green cards or visas in their lifetime.

By throwing away DACA, the Trump Administration is throwing away thousands of hard-working, much-needed individuals who could help the country and themselves if they were to receive it. Innocent people should not be punished or barred from reaping the benefits that come with such an affluent and advanced country.

In 2010, it was measured that approximately 40 million people living in the United States were foreign-born. Is it even possible to imagine a country without them? That number will only keep increasing no matter the sanctions against it. Our country should be a place where those who deserve to be here are here, where everyone is given an equal chance.

As Jane Novak at CNBC said, “If executed properly…Washington leadership could come to a deal that shows proper compassion, boosts security, and makes economic sense.”


Column: New club strives to promote tolerance among all students

Art by Savannah Schroering

By Ky Haney

A new community flourished under the guidance of students. Questions, answers, and undecided feelings lay behind the entry. As soon as a hand touches the door of the anatomy and IB biology teacher Amy Shaffer’s classroom, they are welcomed with large smiles.

This new club was called the Gay Straight Alliance. The new title, Gender and Sexuality Alliance, changed to be more inclusive. GSA is a club devoted to bring the LGBT community together with allies or people who do not quite understand what is going on in the community.

The motive for GSA is simple. One bolded word shows up before the rest. Awareness. “When he [her cousin] came out as a gay man, we kind of already knew. He was just giving us that confrontation. Watching him grow up and being around him my whole life, and seeing him kind of struggle that people won’t accept him, then saying it out loud was a really big step for him. So whenever I see other kids, I wonder if they have accepted themselves. My heart goes out to them, after watching him,” said Spanish teacher Lillian Conway.

The coming out story of her cousin made a lot of sense and plucked at my heartstrings. Whenever I came out to my parents, I simply stated “gay.” It made them more comfortable than having to explain pansexuality. Conway decided upon sponsoring the club to bring people to not only come together and be educated, but for a safe place for the children.

“It’s one of those things where you want so badly to just tell people it will be okay, but really sometimes, it is easier said than done,” said Conway.

GSA is not only for the LGBT community. Their goal is to make the outlook on the community to be in a more positive light, this including the straight community.

“I want my role to be whenever you are there, and you are coming across things, I can be the help. That’s why whenever I heard we are redoing it again this year, I said ‘count me in’.”

Much like Conway, many other kids believe awareness will improve the outlook. The alliance, obviously, is there for more than the improvement. It is to make kids feel safe. Many kids, like Conway’s cousin, are afraid to come out. In the club, they can finally be themselves knowing that the people in the room would not judge them.

The first meeting was on Friday, Aug. 25. The class started with the simple things, rules and introductions. Everybody was so incredibly sweet, large smiles pulled on everyone’s lips. We felt safe and knew nobody in the room would let the cat out the bag. This progressed into making friendships and watching short films that made us think differently. During the short film, each kid colored a poster. These posters are hanging around the school, so you have most likely seen them.

It stands with two hands, shaking in alliance. The hands are colored with pride flags, not only straight and gay hand holding, but many others. The posters show pride, but also togetherness. These posters were crafted with happy hands. The post I crafted was made with so much love, each color stroke hitting my heart. I felt warm and accepted just by the different flags holding hands. Art goes a long way to me, especially for the LGBT+ community.

As the last posters are hung and cars are coming around to pick up their kids, I could already can see what has happened. We have created life long friends, and caring space for their friends. We will see each other in the hallways and know that through the hate or disrespect, we had each other.

Just like Conway said, “Let’s normalize this community.”

Painting Parking Spots

By Christy Avery

Picture it. Between assignments, social interaction, early mornings, and trying to find a parking spot… imagine if one of those burdens was eliminated?

Oftentimes, finding somewhere to park your car is a huge headache and can potentially cause problems, such as the sacrifice of sleep time or a good spot. Student drivers can even be late to class. What if current and upcoming drivers had something to make their mornings much smoother here at FC?

Other schools, such as Carmel, have gotten in on the striking new trend that is drawing other high schoolers’ interest: providing individualized parking spaces that students can paint.

If they pay for a parking pass, students who have licenses would be granted their own spot, which they could also personalize as they like. Possibilities span from album covers and sports teams to movie and pop culture references. Imagine the memes, y’all.

Wouldn’t it be great to pull in every day and immediately park at your own parking spot– no fighting with other drivers or waiting ten years to find a space. Plus, it would look great, giving you a cheerful way to start the day off with, such as if you have a test. Life is hard.

Of course, there are potential complications, such as cost– at most schools, the average price is $100– but it would be well worth the sense of freedom, convenience, and personal expression. Students could save birthday money, Christmas money, or paychecks. The price is a one-time deal, but the parking spot lasts for a year (not to mention the legacy you might leave if you do it right).

Above all, the heart of the matter is freedom of expression (even if it is through a meme). It is a topic many of us here at FC feel very strongly about, especially considering the state of our world and society today. We all need our own places where we can thrive, grow, and learn about ourselves. Although an individualized parking space may only be a small caveat into that, anything and everything is important when it comes to self-expression and discovery. By implementing this opportunity, FC could grant us that.

We all need to paint our own picture.

Columnist reflects on lack of life skills in classroom

By Sophie Howie

Editor’s Note: This column goes along with a life skills spread on Page 14 and Page 15 of the print edition of The Bagpiper on April 21. 

Many students complain that the skills they’re learning in school can’t be applied to everyday situations. Some parts of subjects, or entire subjects themselves, are often dismissed as irrelevant. FC students have roughly eight hours to learn, grow and socialize on an average school day. This brings up the question, “How many of those eight hours are being wasted on material that will be virtually no help later in life?” It’s said that school is meant to prepare students for the rest of their lives, but in reality, it’s only preparing them for similar classes in higher education that they may not take. After college, it seems, they’re on their own with the skills they have and that’s that. Continue reading Columnist reflects on lack of life skills in classroom

Societal issues addressed in new South Park season

By Karli Coleman

South Park has been entertaining, baffling, and offending its audience for 19 seasons now. With over 250 episodes and a variety of protagonists everyone loves to hate, along with a feature film and a variety of collectors’ merchandise and video games, South Park continues to be one of the most beloved animated comedies in the world, winning over viewers with its clever satire and offensive humor.

I have been a dedicated South Park fan for as long as I can remember. The show has never failed to put a smile on my face while I was going through rough times in my childhood. South Park and its characters were always there when I was happy, sad, or anything in between. It has evoked tears as a result of such intense laughter, and the animated series will always be a favorite of mine.

The 19th season of South Park aired on Sept. 16. Similar to last season, this season features an episode-to-episode consistency, with social justice and political-correctness as a recurring theme. This season introduced the PC “Politically Correct” Principal, a jacked-up frat boy who considers himself a social justice warrior. The PC Principal is a new major character that emphasizes social justice and the importance of being politically aware and correct in the modern world.

So far this season, South Park has touched on a variety of social justice topics, such as transgender awareness, immigration, ableist slurs, and the importance of voting for a good president, along with gay rights and the harm done by negative propaganda of marginalized minorities.

Continue reading Societal issues addressed in new South Park season