MVHS lacks passion for current events

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It may seem like the headlines about elections or international affairs are insignificant. That they can’t touch us. That they only take place in a distant land and could never spread far enough to reach us. Recently though, there have been political uprootings such as the Women’s March or the March for Science in cities less than 10 miles away from our school. These marches are a way for people to show that they are aware of the government’s condition and that they want to see change.

So, it’s a little disheartening when many students here at MVHS are passive or show a complete disinterest in current events.

Social Science teacher Ben Recktenwald believes that students at Monta Vista generally are not caught up with the news. But he has a way to combat that. On every reading quiz, Recktenwald puts a fill-in-the-blank question about something that was in the news recently. He is the only teacher in his department to do this.

“Government is all about what’s happening right now,” Recktenwald said.

Recktenwald hopes that the incentive for points will drive students to care more about issues around the world. Several of his alumni have came back to visit and told him that they currently watch the news and are “news junkies” because of his government class.

This “Bonus” portion is an example of Recktenwald’s extra credit questions. The questions he puts are usually big stories that don’t require much research, only basic knowledge of the event.

This “Bonus” portion is an example of Recktenwald’s extra credit questions. The questions he puts are usually big stories that don’t require much research, only basic knowledge of the event.

Take this bonus question for example. A teacher was accused recently of kidnapping his student, 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas, to take to California for sex exploitation purposes. Awareness of this event can help prevent such crimes from taking place in the future, especially if students think they are currently protected.

Another recent and local event was when Ann Coulter was met with backlash after students found out she wanted to speak at UC Berkeley. This situation was reminiscent of the incident that happened just a few months prior when Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak, but he couldn’t because of campus riots forming in response.

When demonstrations occur this close to home, it is essential that we are aware of them because otherwise, we hand our voices and power over to someone else. This is why junior Nina Biondi shares any and all news that she thinks is important on her Facebook page. She shares upward to 20 posts a day.

“It’s important that people who follow me not just see c*** and faded stuff,” Biondi said.

Biondi scrolls through her Facebook home page. Most of her posts are breaking news about politics or human rights issues.

Biondi scrolls through her Facebook home page. Most of her posts are breaking news about politics or human rights issues.

And all the sharing works. Biondi’s friends, and sometimes even teachers, have thanked her for opening their eyes towards some of the atrocities happening around the world.

What would be the biggest atrocity of them all? World War III. The political climate between the United States and North Korea has recently reached a new level of tension. The good news is, North Korea’s recent missile launches have failed. The bad news is, if they managed to get nuclear weapons to fly long distances, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles would be the first United States targets on their list. This video by Vox explains the logistics of the North Korea situation.

As students living in the United States and in North Korea’s nuclear bomb scope, it’s important that MVHS reads the news everyday and encourages people in positions of power to take action. Through writing letters to representatives, making phone calls and more, a potential world war can be stopped. And it all starts with reading the daily news.

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About Author

Ruth Feng is a first-year staff member of El Estoque. She writes for the sports section and enjoys going to ballgames, doing yoga, and being in nature.