What issues are changing today? How do people respond to those issues? Why?

As we read Inherit the Wind, we explored how the people in Hillsboro responded to a major change in American thought. The people of Hillsboro are alarmed when Bert Cates wants to teach the Theory of Evolution in schools because many in their community believe in the Christian creation story and do not want to consider another idea that might conflict with their own. Conflicts between ideas have always existed and continue to exist. With these conflicts in mind, we considered what is changing today, how people are responding to it, and where we should discuss controversial ideas.

Here is a sample of what we found...

What is an issue that is changing today? How is it changing?

How are different types of people responding to this issue?

"The issue that I am writing about is minority representation in film and other pieces of media, such as television and video games....While representation may seem trivial, or even pointless to some, representation in different forms of media is important. Throughout history, movies and TV shows have all mainly focused on main characters who are straight, white men. How change is involved is simple: films and other mediums have begun to branch out, featuring characters that are more than all straight, white males. While this is a good thing, there are many instances where representation is done poorly and ends up hurting more than helping." - Conor Flaherty

"When you have power and you seem to be superior to everyone else, it is harder for you to see things from a different view than your own. The Black Lives Matter Movement forced many people into seeing things from a different point of view." - Gabrielle Hart

"People respond to the issue of race in many different ways. Some people are okay with the fact that people are being thought of in a horrible way and some are not okay with racism. There are different sides of debates on racism. One side is the bystanders. The bystanders try not to get involved with the issue. They decide to leave themselves out of it instead of speaking up and standing for what’s right." - Lailah Jamaladdin

"As said before, immigration is swiftly changing. With brand new laws, travel bans, etc. all against immigrants, immigration will change. It often becomes harder and harder for immigrants to enter. Compared to the 1920's immigration, it is very difficult for an immigrant to enter the country now. In the past, people saw immigrants as a threat. They believed that they would take away jobs and lower salaries. Over time the majority of the American people (75%) see immigrants as hard-working people. " - King Ibrahim

"My issue is going to be about vaccines and how some people are really against them. Vaccines are changing because a lot of people don't know much about it. Though they are really helpful, a lot of people are very skeptical about vaccines. Every year the vaccines for diseases change and every year more and more people are becoming more paranoid of what vaccines really are... One big reason this topic is changing is because of the misconceptions and people who can't tell the myths and the facts apart. This leaves people unclear about some parts of the vaccine. Not knowing what is true or not scares people because they don't want to walk into something that they don't know about. " - Tao Chen

Why might a change related to this issue cause some people to be fearful?

"Either way, change can be fearful because it is different. It can be fearful because it is outside the box for you. But either way, you should still support others. Because whatever discomfort you feel about it, they probably feel even more nervous." - Ian Owen-Riggan

"One main reason that people may be fearful of change with this issue is because of the fear that refugees could be immigrating or fleeing to their country. This could cause people to be fearful because they may be scared that these refugees could take their job, or could be a threat to their everyday lives. The main reason behind these concerns is personal bias and prejudice. I think that one part of history that relates to the fact that people are fearful of this issue, is the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese Exclusion Act was made in 1882, and it prevented Chinese immigration to the United States. I feel like this relates to the current issue because the reason that the act was made was because people had biases and were scared that the immigrants would steal their jobs. I think that another reason that people may be fearful of this change is because of their leaders or people who may influence them. For example, in 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump lowered the amount of refugees allowed into the U.S. from 110,000 to 18,000, and called them “dangerous” and “a threat to the economy.” I think that if people hear this everyday from their president that they may eventually start to believe it themselves." - Garner Gleason

On Covid-19… "Having all these drastic changes causes people fear, because most people don’t know how to deal with this situation. People are going to have to get used to social distancing, and staying in our houses. Also, with lack of knowledge about the virus might cause people to be more fearful about it. Knowing that we have to quarantine ourselves from other people might cause people to worry." - Laila Abdul-Haqq

"A lot of things about climate change are making people fearful. One thing is that the hotter it gets, the higher the sea levels get. Rising sea levels affect people all over the world. Over time, with the current pace of climate change, a lot of major cities near the coast could become flooded, and no one would be able to live there. This frightens many people around the world... Some companies who don’t care about climate change aren’t helping out because it is probably cheaper for them to use non-renewable resources. They might be afraid of losing money. Other companies are switching to renewable resources because they believe that helping the planet is more important than money." - Rohan Kuetmeyer

"Though change can scare people, it can be good. In terms of immigration, Americans eat lots of different foods from a lot of countries like Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Italian foods etc, all foods that would not exist if immigrants would not have come into the U.S. Immigrants also bring culture, new dances, music, teaching ways, technology etc. Even though change can be scary, it can be good." - Ruby Brenner

"One reason why people could be fearful is that they’re afraid of the unknown or something that they can't relate to or understand." - Ruth Neighbor

"Lots of people are afraid of things changing and not being how they were before. People always have habits, routines, and have learned to be comfortable with certain things. This is why it is harder to change because you would have to get comfortable with something new and learn new ideas. Change can often create discomfort and uncertainty which is why people would much rather not find new ideas at all." - Laila Lozano

"A change in the issue (vaccines) might be fearful because of many reasons. The main reason that I think many people are scared is that people are naturally afraid of the unknown and most people don't really like getting used to change and prefer that things stay the same. This applies to a lot of things in life. It could be going to college or even little things like changing your diet a little bit. Most people are scared of something that they're not used to... For the most part, I think that misconception is the main problem when it comes to these types of controversial topics." - Tao Chen

"[The Black Lives Matter Movement] could be fearful to some people. People think that the reason that people of all kinds don't have equality is because people are scared of change. That could be true. People could be scared of change because they don't want to adapt and they aren't ready for the change. Some people in power may fear not being in power still and not having what they have. That's reasonable but having change won’t get rid of everything you have. It's just having something change and you don’t know if it could affect you in a good way." - Andrew Dawson

Do you think this issue should be discussed in school, even though it is controversial? Why or why not?

"Point being, kids learn a lot when they are young. Most kids do understand political issues if we explain them. So it is older people's jobs to make sure that kids ARE educated in worldwide issues so that they are ready to choose for themselves when they are older and able to make their own decisions." - Ruby Brenner

"I believe that the issue of immigration should be taught in schools, even though it’s controversial. I believe that if we taught it in schools we could help stop prejudice beliefs before they even start. It would also give the kids a chance to think for themselves on this issue and be able to decide which side they agree with. " - Aidan Lynch

" I do think that the topic of the 2020 election should be discussed in schools. I think this because everyone should know what is going on in their country and everyone deserves to be able to form their own opinion on politics. There’s a lot of people who weren’t taught the different views on politics and as adults only have a very small view that only one way is the way our country should be run. " - Kara Clapper

"I think climate change should be taught in school because it is a crucial topic. We are the future leaders of the world and we have to do something about it. It may be a controversial subject to some, but it will still teach the students what they may be facing growing up." - Saarah Abdul-Haqq

"I think the Green New Deal should be discussed in school, because people need to know that the Green New Deal is the only thing that will even begin to save us from climate change. The next generations need to know the facts around the Green New Deal and climate change. They need to learn that, yes, it will cost a lot of money, and yes, we will need to give up the comfort of the status quo, but in the end, it will be worth it. We need to be able to have open discussions about how we can change our economy to fit the needs of the people, and how we can face climate change together. There is also a lot of misinformation around the Green New Deal, and teaching about it in school will clear up the confusion and help people make educated decisions about the Green New Deal. Through discussions, we can better understand how the Green New Deal and how it will benefit everyone, even the people who are scared to give up their money." - Cana Berkey-Gerard

"It's also good for future generations to know so they can make a change and even if it could cause some disagreements because it is controversial but we need to talk about these things if we want to have an equal future that we can all talk about without hiding things. If our future generation learns to be open and know about these things then our future could have less hate crimes and be more peaceful." - Andrew Dawson

"I think it should be discussed in school, because even though it is very controversial, it is also a very important topic to talk about because it can affect so many people." - Ben Kokayko

"Gun violence is something that needs to be talked about, and teenagers in America need to know what's going on in preparation for them being able to vote soon. Schools need to educate students on not only on what happened, but on what's happening at the current time and date, and what could affect them. Gun Control also needs to be brought up in school because I feel it gives an example of what American citizens are like as people, and it shows an example of extreme conservatism and extreme liberalism. " - Ivan Boyko

"Teaching immigration is essential because it teaches people how immigrants struggle to find a better life. It is also important that we teach both sides of the argument so kids understand why it is such a hotly debated topic. Teaching immigration also teaches kids about what life is like in a different country, and brings awareness to the problems citizens like them face. Immigration is an issue that will be relevant for years to come. Eventually, when these children are in positions of power they will be aware and able to properly discuss immigration." - Sofia Taroncher

"Yes, I do believe bullying should be discussed in school because it has impacted a lot of people and not in a positive way. So I believe we shouldn’t just discard this issue and we actually should do something about it. Many people have committed suicide because of bullying, so we should learn to ban together as a society in order to address this issue and put and end to it. " - Jayden Jordan