Changing world necessitates dedicated current events class

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Jonah Sandy

Do Blake social studies classes prioritize history over current events?

Annelise Ellingboe and Brianna Pomonis, Contributing Writers

As up and coming sophomores, the idea of repeating another American History class isn’t the most exciting concept we’ve heard. We’re not slamming the great history of ‘Murica, and by no means are we saying it’s not important to learn our country’s history, but we would like to see a social studies class specifically focused on the things that are happening here and now.

As citizens of the United States and eventual voters, we have a responsibility to know what’s happening now, what it means, and how it will affects us.  To keep us the “globally active citizens” Blake prides itself in creating, we need to be informed in our decisions.

Growing up in a world of constant change and progression, “informed citizen” doesn’t mean the same thing it used to. With the resources Blake students are provided, we need to be able to apply the life skills we are learning to things happening in our lifetime. When asked what the national debt was, a senior replied with “…1.5 trillion?” A freshman replied with “Like billions… trillions? I don’t know. I learned in like 6th grade but I don’t remember. But its a lot! I’d say like in the trillions… but I really don’t know.”

As of 2012, national debt was approximately $16.7 trillion. It is a scary thought to think that a student who may have voted in the last election, and another who will certainly vote in the next doesn’t know the size of the national debt.

We think that Blake should create a class that is centered around today’s government, current events, and our involvement in society today. I recently participated in a rally on Lobby Day at the capitol and spoke with my district representative to ask her to vote yes on a bill, and I understand first-hand how impowered and important a person can feel when he or she takes part in today’s world, and is informed and passionate enough to make their voice heard. We have a duty as the people of a democratic country to be creating change and making our voices heard in government, and Blake should support that.

Read US Social Studies teacher Randy Roberts’s response to this piece here.