By Cora Beyer
This school year seems to be characterized by change. This can be seen from laptops for everyone to new teachers and classmates. Another exciting change that might be overlooked is the addition of new clubs, specifically the Politics Club.
The Politics Club is a place that allows students to, not only discuss politics from all points of view, but extend their learning and come up with ways to improve the world around them.
A small group of students feel that it is important for them to be involved in their community and found common ground as they developed this new club.
By Aubrie Wise
Four different sides occured from the National Walkout on March 14 at Red Lion Senior High School. 13 students participated in the outdoor protest with the knowledge they would receive a 3-hour Saturday detention for their actions. Around 150 students went to a memorial at the Fitzkee Center, which was non-political and dedicated to the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. Then there were several students that showed up to the memorial wearing NRA shirts. The final side was the rest of the student body who chose to stay in their homerooms. There was reasoning as to why each group made the decision that they did.
By Rachel Lau
Donald J. Trump was sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States Jan. 20, 2017.
“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people,” President Trump said during his inaugural speech. “Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.”
In his speech his vowed to fight for the American citizens who were “forgotten.” He also said he would end “American carnage” and pledged to put America first.
After months of name-calling, talk of building a wall, erased emails, unknown taxes, and “feeling the Bern,” President-elect Donald Trump will move into the White House.
He will be sworn into office as commander in chief on Jan. 24, making him the 45th president of the United States.
Trump has promised several things to the American people. According to a policy statement from Trump’s campaign website, he says he’s going to restore faith in the republic of those who have given up on it.
He thinks that if faith is restored, the citizens who have felt alienated for years will step forward and believe in the system once again. Perhaps helping with that cause is Trump’s outsider status. He will be the first president to have never previously held elected office nor served in the military.
By Molly Merson
News and Features Editor
The 2016 presidential election was one of the most talked about elections in several decades. The amount of social media buzz involving this election raised many eyebrows and questions among the people. The internet traffic regarding the election could have swayed the opinions of voters at the polls.
By Joel Zamora
The state finally passed a budget for public schools that initiated a start for funding on March 26.
Tom Wolf, the governor of Pennsylvania, decided to let the bill pass by the House and Senate, to be passed without his signature. This was an advancement in progress for the schools throughout the state. For Red Lion, this means about $2 million is received from the state. Originally, the state owed Red Lion $9.7 million. People residing in districts might ask public schools where the rest of the money is if the budget was already passed.
“I was delighted that progress was being made,” Dr. Scott Deisley said, the superintendent of the Red Lion School District. “However, the budget being passed is only half the story.”
As the election draws closer, presidential candidates are working tirelessly to earn delegates and electoral college votes.
By Rachel Lau
Social Media Editor
The 2016 presidential primary contest has been one of the most controversial races for presidency in decades. The Republican candidates need to get at least 1,237 delegates in total from their states. The Democratic candidates need to get 2,383 or more.
Delegates are individuals who represent their states at national party conventions. These are very important because the candidate who receives a majority of his or her party’s delegates during the long process of the race wins the nomination.
By Helen Zeidman
Hostages have been taken. Insults have been thrown. Promises have been broken. The fate of Pennsylvania’s education system hangs in the air. The battle to approve the Pennsylvania State Budget for 2015 has evolved into a war, and the amount of casualties has been rising.
Public schools are scrambling to find funding. The Pennsylvania School Board Association has filed a lawsuit against Governor Tom Wolf, claiming that the schools are not getting the financial support that is promised to them in the Pennsylvania state constitution. Public universities, such as Temple University and Penn State University, are lacking the funding that they are supposed to receive annually.
“What it forced schools to do is to create austerity budgets, where you cut spending to the bone,” Principal Mark Shue said. “I know this year we have cut back spending.”
During all of this chaos, Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives are stuck in a deadlock over the provisions of the 2015-2016 state budget.
Governor Tom Wolf has been using his power of the line item veto, which is a specific authority given to governors that allows them to reject certain parts of a bill, to turn down proposals from the Republican dominated legislature.
Tom Wolf’s original budget contained policies consistent with Democratic ideals that were not initially approved of by the Republican majority of the State Legislature. The discrepancies between the Democrat governor and the largely Republican legislature have made the state budget difficult to pass. This led to the current predicament of Pennsylvania going over 200 days without a solid state budget.
The priorities of Governor Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign are “schools that teach, jobs that pay, and government that works,” according to his website, Governor.pa.gov. One of the main changes in the original budget, which was proposed back in March of 2015, was an increase in education funding. This would include more funding for basic education, special education, early education, and secondary education.
The increase in funding for schools could help keep taxes in the school district down.
“Pretty much what happens in Red Lion is that we have an operating budget. What the state doesn’t cover, the tax payers will,” Principle Shue said.
If the school district receives more funding from the state budget, then that money could be used to maintain the current tax rate and possibly prevent tax increases.
While the rewards could be great, the delay of the state budget has caused obstacles for many schools in Pennsylvania, including tightening the budget for the Red Lion Area School District. Without an approved state budget, Pennsylvania school funding will not be the only casualty in the war to approve the budget.
Russia’s occupation in Ukraine raises concerns within the international community as the United Nations collectively try to resolve the issue.
By Bella McCarey
Once again, America has intensely focused their attention on foreign affairs with the growing crisis in Ukraine, this time with reluctance towards becoming involved with Russia due to our weary Cold War relations.
The crisis initially began when over 300,000 Ukrainian protesters took to the streets of Kiev’s Independence Square in early December, leading to the overthrow of the Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. The protests were caused by the Ukrainian government’s refusal of a trading deal that would lead to a stronger relationship with the west. Instead, they accepted a payout from Russia. From Dec. 1 to Feb. 20, 91 protesters were killed during the series of riots.
Ukraine is divided on the issue, with the eastern part of the country looking forward to Russia becoming more involved in their country in regions such as Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Crimea. The other half of the country, including the capital Kiev, are pro-Western and are opposed to associations with a country that has fallen behind the rest of the world by a time span of decades.
Following Yanukovych’s flee from Ukraine, the former Prime Minister of the country Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison and set May 25 aside for the new elections.
With the upcoming deadline of the elections, Russian president Vladimir Putin has taken quick action to make sure that Russian citizens of Crimea and the far eastern region aren’t affected by the new election.
A recent vote put forth by Putin has given the Russian-proclaimed people of Ukraine a voice in whether they would like to remain where they are or embrace their true nationality.
The vote swayed in favor of a partition, immediately granting Putin access to the Black Sea, ultimately causing an international uproar.
The UN Security Council recently held a meeting on Apr. 14 to discuss the crisis, with international diplomats coming to the agreement that Russia can’t simply take a part of Ukraine without direct supervision of the international community and a formal vote overseen by UN officials. Major concerns are that unmarked Russian troops will continue to invade, with the eventual goal of annexing the entire eastern part of the country, which it will incite a civil war in Ukraine.
“Russia, which shares a large border with Ukraine, as well as the broader European region faces spillover effect of potentially severe consequences,” assistant secretary-general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in a public statement. “Such scenarios will also have repercussions for the entire international community.”
For the United States, President Obama has spoken for the entire country that this is not an issue that we should be heavily involved with.
The Commander-in-Chief has a history of allowing diplomatic issues to sit in a binder at the corner of his resolute English oak desk for months on end, and it is no surprise that he is taking some heat for how he is handling this issue.
In a public statement to the country, President Obama has stated that popular sovereignty will be upheld internationally by his administration. “I don’t think we can be sure of anything [in the Ukrainian crisis]. I think there is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may deescalate the situation.”
Over the last month President Obama has contacted Vladimir Putin regarding Russia’s occupation in Ukraine and has made it known that he does not want to engage American troops in this conflict, however if worse comes to worse, that may be necessary.
“We’re not going to know whether there is follow through on these statements for several days,” Obama said.
News outlets have voiced that Obama’s words are just filling space and time from now until mid-term elections in November. “With Russia’s incursion into Ukraine reviving Cold War-style tensions,” Reuters.com staff writer Steve Holland from Washington writes, “President Barack Obama is at risk of suffering a blow to his credibility at a time when he can least afford it: as he tries to convince voters to stick with his fellow Democrats in congressional elections that will help shape his legacy.”
It is a legacy that is in danger of being laid to rest, should Obama continue to throw around empty, meaningless threats. Economic sanctions have been set up against Ukraine but that is the extent of the United States involvement.
So the question Washington now faces is where to go from here. It has been pointed out by news outlets and late night talk shows that we have invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq for almost 12 years so it is not our place or right to interject. However, a significant difference is that we never annexed a part of those countries, we merely bombed them and are now spending billions of dollars to repair the damage.
The media and a select few politicians are intently watching as more events unfold and with every fresh news release, Russia comes closer and closer to obtaining one of its former Soviet Union regions.