Category Archives: Editorials

Staff editorial: Hillary Clinton for President

Editor’s Note: The following is a reflection of the editorial board’s opinion, and is the same editorial that was published on Page 9 of today’s print edition of The Bagpiper on Nov. 4. 

Next Tuesday, Americans will make a long awaited decision that will drastically affect our lives over the next four years. We can either elect a man who has never held political office, or a career politician with over 30 years of executive experience which more than qualifies her for this office. Therefore, the Bagpiper Editorial Board endorses Hillary Clinton to be the 45th President of the United States.

Serving as first lady, the first female senator from New York, and Secretary of State, Clinton’s ample experience has more than prepared her to serve as president.

However, her opponent, Donald Trump, may be the most inexperienced candidate to ever run for the presidency. Showing consistent ignorance, racism, sexism, and overall lack of rationale displays why he is unfit for this position.

Clinton stands for a fair tax system that would make sure the wealthy, including herself, pay their fair share of taxes. She supports abortion rights, believes in a universal health care program that would offer affordable health care for all Americans, and plans to make college debt-free for everyone.

Throughout her career, Clinton has campaigned for women’s rights, minorities, children, the poor, and the LGBT community. Her ability to persevere and solve problems for issues that she cares about proves that she would be able to work productively in office with opposing political parties.

Meanwhile, Trump has made no effort to act presidential, and recently has only been adding more gas to the fire that he started himself. Trump’s repetitive statements on immigrants, his comments from 2005 regarding sexual assault, and failure to release his tax returns are all unpresidential behavior. His claim that the election is rigged and that therefore he may not accept the results of the election are, as Clinton said, horrifying.

Clinton is not perfect, though, as every career politician comes with flaws. Clinton’s decision to use a private email server while serving as Secretary of State was wrong and is a mistake  that disrupts her campaign.

No matter what, the next president to take office will be taking on extensive problems that arose near the end of the Obama administration. From combating ISIS in the Middle East, the continued war on terror, and relations with Russia, the values of democracy will undoubtedly be tested.

This country has waited long enough to elect its first female president, and Clinton has to be the one to make it happen. Casting a vote for Clinton means one step closer to solving the problems that our country faces, and making it an even greater country than it already is. We believe Clinton to be the most qualified candidate, and that regardless the outcome of the election on Tuesday we will stand by our decision with consequential pride.

Veterans’ holiday forgotten

Veterans Day is the forgotten holiday. Some observe two minutes of silence. Some go to a church ceremony

By Chase Palmer

or participate in a march. What does America do to observe Veterans Day? Very little, maybe an assembly or moment of silence cut short by teachers’ lessons and whispering students.

Our lives can easily get bogged down with school, sports, friends, and family, but that does not mean we can make excuses for ignore veterans and their service.

Our country has formally declared war on three different occasions, while also fighting in as many as ten others. The occasions when we found ourselves at war were tense times for the soldiers

fighting, families at home, and others involved.

The respect and acknowledgement necessary and appropriate for our veterans is clearly lacking. The veterans put their world on hold, risked their lives, and gave for you. With their sacrifice we can; have all the food we could imagine, sleep in peace, not worry of approaching enemies, and have the freedoms that we so easily take for granted. Unlike much of the world we do not worry about our next meal.

Young men have died in battle and their families and friends have suffered because of this. Fighter pilots have also been shot down so we can sleep without the threat of genocides or dictators happening here in America.

Do we think about it on a daily basis? Even once a year on Veterans day? It is a chance to find a veteran, be it in your community or family, and thank them. They gave you something you cannot get any other way than putting their entire world on the line.

Veterans should always be respected and recognized.  They have sacrificed too much to be recognized only once every year by putting their life on the line every time they go into a battle. Many veterans have gone above and beyond and served multiple tours. They knowingly stand in the way of enemy baring guns, bombs, and a hatred we cannot even imagine. Just for us.

There are plenty of good Americans that provide wonderful services like doctors and teachers. But no one can say they did more for their country than veterans. These servants realized such freedom and liberty was worth more than their lives. What will we do.

Unfair grading causes stir

Public Law 221 was created to set up a new system of accountablitiy for public schools in Indiana. This

Graphic by Summer Haynes

system gives a letter grade A through F much like a student’s report card. Unlike a students report card, however, these grades are based on progress of the schools standardized test scores and not on the quality of them.  Not only is this system of ranking unfair, it is misleading and could eventually produce a counterproductive  result.

This plan is unfair because schools who are producing subpar results are being ranked higher than those who produce excellent results. A school that consistently obtains high test scores will receive a low grading because their improvement rate is low, while a school that improves but still produces low scores will be ranked highly. This is unfair because lower-quality schools are being rewarded for being lower-quality schools.

This grading system is also very misleading for anyone trying to decide what schools are the best in the state of Indiana. Schools given an A are actually schools that have just recently improved and have not consistently been exemplary schools, while consistently high acheiving schools would be listed as C or below. This is as logical as putting a student who improves from an F to a D above an all A student in class rank.

Eventually this system could become counterproductive and cause schools to purposely lower their scores to be able to improve. Supporters of this system may believe taht it will cause positive competition and encourage struggling schools to work harder, but they do not take into account those schools who are not struggling. Eventually these consistent schools will grow weary of not being recognized for their job well done and will lower scores in order to raise them.

The solution to the problem of Public Law 221 is simple. Schools cannot be graded solely on improvement in test scores. While this should be a factor of the grade a school recieves, other factors such as consistency in test scores, graduation rates, and conduct should be considered as well.

Everyone would agree that this system would be an inappropriate way to grade students, so why should it be applied to schools? Not only is it unfair, misleading, and potentially counterproductive, it is blatanly one-dimensial.

Never forgotten?

Graphic by Chase Palmer

After the Sept. 11 attacks, one phrase could be seen everywhere. It was plastered on bumper stickers, printed on patriotic t-shirts, and could be found at memorials across the country. That phrase was a promise: we will never forget.

On Sunday it will have been 10 years since we made that promise, but can America really say we never forgot?

Yes, television specials that analyze every aspect of the event will be everywhere, terrorism is sure to be a hot topic on all news channels, and President Obama is bound to make a speech addressing the attacks, but what will everyone else do?

At FC there will not be an assembly in remembrance of the 366 servicemen who lost their lives saving others or the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks. The only attention the day will receive will be a moment of silence before the announcements.

In a survey done by Rasmussen Reports in September 2009, 49 percent of Americans said their fellow statesmen had already forgotten about the attacks.

Obviously, the day has not been forgotten in the manner that someone forgets where they put their keys, but many would rather forget about that day than remember it or discuss it.

For many, Sept. 11 is a reminder of just how vulnerable our country really is, and is therefore more convenient to forget than to keep fresh in our minds.

To remember that day means to remember the chaos and the lack of control we had over the events taking place on our own doorstep.

Although the topic may be difficult for some to discuss, it is a necessity. It is the responsibility of all who experienced Sept. 11 first hand to share their stories and memories of that tragic day with the next generation.

Sept. 11 should not be pushed to the side. It is a crucial event in our nation’s history and culture, and its effects can be seen anywhere from the New York skyline to airport security.

Instead of labeling it as a painful memory, Sept. 11 should be remembered not just to honor those who died, but to honor what makes our country what it is today.

We all know what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, but what will you do on Sept. 11, 2011?