STAFF EDITORIAL – Going global

High school students should follow the news


Illustration by Mandy Matteson

There’s more to the world than America.
There’s more than Superior or Louisville or Colorado.
And there’s more to it than our lives here.
There are eight billion people out there living through their own challenges, being impacted by their governments’ decisions and the actions of our own.
So, shouldn’t we care?
It’s easy to be passive citizens, ignoring politics and leaving them to the adults, but we need to consider what that implies.
Do you want adults, disconnected from your needs and beliefs, making decisions that impact you? Besides, shouldn’t we care about the people who are affected, even if that doesn’t include us? It’s important to know what’s going on to make the changes you want to see.
You’ve heard of the war in Ukraine. Last year, you heard about the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Now, images of protests in Iran and the aftermath of the Turkey-Syria earthquake are probably scattered through your For You Page.
But more is happening in the world than these broadcasted events. The problem with social media and politics is that issues gain popularity and spread like trends, then fade out into background noise when our short attention spans run out. We need to remember that these issues don’t just go away once the spotlight of social media moves on to the next thing.
Keeping up with global events is a matter of compassion. We need to acknowledge that news isn’t just words on paper or two-dimensional statistics, but people’s lives and their realities. It’s the least we can do to break the “ignorant American” stereotype and recognize the gravity of these situations.
Issues like abortion rights and gun legislation can directly impact high school students like us. The overturn of Roe v. Wade puts our bodies and futures in the hands of the state government, which could completely change the course of our lives. According to gun safety organization Everytown, the United States sits alone at the top of global statistics, with over 18,000 children and teens shot every year and 3,500 of them killed.
Beyond these immediate concerns, the looming consequences of climate change should also be on our minds. As the next generation of voters, we have a responsibility to know and care about how the U.S. plans to reduce our impact on the planet.
Even on a local level, our awareness and advocacy matter. The National Education Association confirms that teacher salaries in the state of Colorado are far below the national average, contributing to the nationwide teacher shortage. Lower wages discourage people from becoming teachers and make it harder to retain current teachers. These factors can have a detrimental effect on our education.
The state government also controls our curriculum. Conversations around Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+ education are growing in multiple U.S. states, including Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. The more we pay attention to these discussions, the better prepared we are to fight for our own education should the need arise.
I’m sure we can agree that our generation has a short attention span. It’s hard for us to sit down and read long news articles, especially during stressful times. But while social media offers a digestible means of staying informed, it’s also easy to get sucked into curated feed that only tells one side of the story. If you want to rely on Instagram for your news intake, just make sure you follow a variety of reliable, unbiased sources.
But if you ever do have the chance to read a thorough news article, it’s well worth it.
There’s more to the world than Monarch High School. It’s crucial you see that, and expand your understanding of worldwide events and politics before it’s too late. If you don’t, you might wake up one day to find your rights and choices taken away. You might realize that your uninformed decisions have consequences you can’t take back.
So wake up now.
Open your eyes, and learn how to make informed decisions that help build the kind of world you want to live in.