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The Titan Times

    Politics in Guidance: A Parent-Teacher Comparison

    Politics in the States are affecting everyone in the country at a rapid rate, no matter who you are. Being in high school during this time has been strenuous, seeing different policies change the way teachers do their jobs and society’s mentality change toward roles in education shifting the parent-teacher-student dynamic in ways unseen. The education system at large in America is affected often in places like Congress and the Supreme Court, based on laws or policies passed that may affect educators, parents, or both. Educators’ lives can be affected by policies that may prove negative for their families but were voted on by parents holding different mentalities. This may go the opposite way as well, with educators wanting changes that parents may dislike for their own reasons. I find it important to see a connection between these two groups. Parents and Educators are important in both a child’s education and development for their respective reasons, which is why it’s valuable to see how examples of both groups think.

    Being able to know how either of those groups feel about the States’ government and politics at this time can allow us to see where their values meet. On the other hand, this also shows both where a teacher and a parent may disagree with each other and where both groups disagree with what the government may be putting into place. Some of the questions that were asked involved specific policies that are coming up to be voted on. These policies are some that I found interesting as they’ll definitely have substantial effects on the country depending on if they pass or not. The other portion of the questions are more general to gauge opinions on both sides. Knowing these opinions from these groups can allow further discussion on what both sides want for the kids in their care. Opinion-based discussions can have very positive effects if displayed from a neutral perspective.

    What are your thoughts on proposed policy HB5497, which would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to improve the integrated public alert and warning system relating to active shooters, which would mean allowing Homeland Security permission to display information on active shooters as well as gather more?
    The teacher replied with statements questioning how much power Homeland has already. When it comes to choosing an organization, they feel that Homeland isn’t the best choice and that choosing them is “playing politics.” They also feel that expanding information departments may cause issues with privacy in the future if this were to move forward. The parent saw this development as potentially a good thing, seeing as how shootings have gone up in recent years. They think that something such as this “should have happened many years ago.” In their opinion, the policy will be able to decrease active shootings and improve how authorities handle situations like them. The teacher disagrees with the idea of the government interfering with a person’s privacy if this gets passed, while the parent supports the idea of having more proactive measures against shooters gaining and using information through a federal organization.

    How would policy HB5519, a policy that would require information on pay raises made to companies’ executives and non-executive employees to be made public, affect America’s citizens?
    When responding to this question, the parent looked at it from a standpoint of seeing how much government officials are being paid. They say that the citizenry being able to know how much their senator, their governor, their state representatives make per year is “beneficial to American citizens…” From their view, knowing where tax money is going– in terms of paychecks – would be interesting to see. The teacher has a mentality toward the situation affecting private companies, saying there are large gaps between executives and non-executives in their wages. Seeing how much more a person working in the same company makes at a higher position compared to someone who doesn’t have as much privilege may be a turning point from their perspective. Their hope for this “leads to positive protests.” These protests would be attempted with goals to spark the nation and cause change in wages across companies everywhere. Both sides see transparency in pay wages as a beneficial act for the masses on different aspects of society.

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    What would implementing policy HB5482, aiming to prevent energy poverty and ensure that at-risk communities have access to affordable energy look like to you?
    The teacher had an interesting reply to the basis of the question, saying that energy should be a basic human right, like housing should also be a basic human right. However, to the question itself, they said that it would look less like bills and more like a tax form. Furthermore, they said that when it comes to this human right, “Energy should not be held [for] ransom.” The parent seems to enjoy the idea of HB5482, however, they still see certain increases in prices elsewhere. Gas is a great example of this due to the state having no regulation on how close gas prices have to be comparably. This would be comparable to how, even with government help and solar power to reduce costs, energy prices “are higher than ever and keep rising.” They would hope to see the energy issue in at-risk communities be solved, but don’t currently see any effective plans for it. One side dislikes the fact that something important like energy still needs to be paid, and the other sees the future plans and comments on how other systems aren’t following that type of pattern. However, neither were able to truly answer the question. A combination of the two responses would be to have an electricity form that isn’t impacted by interests rates and the economy.

    What is the issue that causes the largest rift between the two major parties?
    The parent has the mindset that both parties seek to have more power than the other in the system. The parent sees that either side wants more representatives so that they are able to push out what they want. They also mentioned that “having different ideologies is the fuel to make them want control.” The teacher has a completely different view, seeing that it comes down to the people in the parties that create the issue. That is, people use their politics as their identity. When it comes down to an exact example, they say, “People forget that politics are not something that you are, it’s something that you do.” They both acknowledge that there are definite problems between the two parties, but both of these issues are drastically different, one at the federal level and one due to the public view.

    Could you describe the type of person you would like to see more of in America’s government, local or otherwise?
    The teacher said, almost instantly, that they wanted to see younger people in the office. They say this because of how old our current representatives are in office, with some unable to know how certain daily mechanics of our lives operate, like the internet. An example they said of aging members is that “Some of our most important representatives are in their eighties.” The parent wants to see people who prioritize the community more than moving up in their positions. This would involve being able to understand which problems are causing the most harm. The parent would also need this person to “[look] for long-term solutions rather than just covering the surface of a bigger problem.” Being able to keep someone in office long enough for them to make a change is something that only a young person would be able to do, so this would be a point of interest where they match.

    Which aspect of the government do you think needs the most work from all sides?
    The parent says that collaboration between the two parties needs the most work because of how they treat each other when it comes to making change. They think that if something is beneficial to the country, both sides “should provide their support.” They’re saying that certain issues that lie in the country could be solved much quicker and easier if they collaborated. The teacher says that the congressional branch of government is what needs the most work currently. They think there are important issues ahead of us that need to be addressed, or the country will have issues in the future. Specifically, the teacher says that “we cannot stall out on gun control and global warming, we need to move forward with these issues.”

    What are your thoughts on the influence that politics have on people overall?
    The teacher’s thoughts on this question lined up with the fourth question very well, with them reaffirming that politics influence people very deeply. They acknowledge that it’s important for everyone to develop their own political views, but not to let it envelop their whole character. However, the parent had something new to say. They talked about how politics influence decision-making and interactions with others, but they also talked about how the public has an influence on politics as well. They note that, when it comes to politics, “we should voice our concerns.” They go on to say that colliding with each other due to politics will stop us, the public, from seeing a different but valid point of view.

    Altogether, both teacher and parent didn’t exactly have disagreeing values when it came to these questions. They had different focuses on what they felt needed to be done and what may come to pass in the future. Seeing how role models like them form their opinions can truly help to assist young people and students in finding their own path in politics. They both agree that it’s important to stay knowledgeable about the situations that arise in the country, so it seems that knowing more about situations that can and will affect a person could prove helpful now and in the future.

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    About the Contributor
    John Paul George Louie Ortega-Rodriguez, also known as JP, is a junior who encourages unbiased truth in politics. He’s also interested in seeing growth in the community, as well as indulging in local events. Some of JP's greatest assets are his capacity for forward thinking and his drive to realize the future he wants to see for the world.

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