Category: Editorials

Immigrants Should Be Allowed in This Country, and Here’s Why:

Casandra Arreola and Uma Ribeiro

Staff Writers

Immigration is a topic that people have been debating for centuries. But with the Trump administration in office and making ridiculous policies that even go as far as to hurt children, it is being discussed and debated now more than ever before, and has become an issue of morals rather than one of politics.

Under the zero tolerance policy Trump released back at the start of his term, in which all people entering the United States illegally are prosecuted, innocent children were separated from their families, some younger than two years old.

Though the topic of new people entering the country is largely debated, there should be no debate when it comes to the separation of families and the detaining of innocent children in horrible conditions. It has been proven that family separation causes severe trauma, especially in children, and the fact that they are detained in these horrendous centers rather than being comforted in any way only makes that trauma worse.

The Trump administration, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, continues to justify the abuse of these innocent children. The US government legally has to provide any detainees with safe and sanitary living conditions as well as proper medical care, and they did not do so in any way.

Mariee Juarez, the 19 month old daughter of an immigrant who was detained in a Texas detention center, died due to improper medical care for a respiratory infection while in the center, and there have been many other cases similar to that as well.

According to the Washington Post article entitled “Unrest at U.S.-Mexico border creates new tension over migrant caravan,” the actions Trump is taking are actually causing more immigrants to come into the country rather than his goal of keeping them out, and is only harming people.

The catastrophic issue of immigrant family separation and the detaining of immigrant children is still at large, and now even more problems are being produced due to the reaction of the Trump administration towards the migrant caravans. On November 26, several sources, including the New York Times and the Women’s March Organization, who were even able to capture pictures of the horrendous and deeply infuriating act, reported that the administration ordered the US Border Patrol to unleash tear gas (which can cause eye bleeding, respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and in extreme cases blindness) on the caravan of refugees at the San diego-Tijuana border, even doing so to young children and their parents.

The pictures that have been released from the attack show parents desperately trying to pull their children away from the fast-approaching white fog. Trump has actually defended these terrible actions, stating that the gas was not harmful, when the effects of the gas have been known to be harmful, and in extreme cases, lethal.

Trump has continued his bombardment of childish tweets, in his latest excusing the unleashing of the gas and calling the migrants “stone cold criminals” when in reality the migrants trying to enter the United States are fleeing horrible conditions in their country and are trying to seek asylum (the right to international protection in another country).

Here are the real facts: Seeking asylum is not, in any way, illegal, but denying immigrants the right to seek asylum is. The migrants are not the criminals, but rather the very president of the United States and his administration are. The very people who constantly defend their heinous actions by referring to the constitution are being unconstitutional themselves.

The administration is not only harming innocent people, but is causing political crisis in Mexico as well. According to The Baltimore Sun article, “Trump’s tweets and the truth about the migrants at the border,” the next president of the country, Lopez Obrador, who spent his entire career trying to aid the poor, was hit with Trump’s statement that he will not allow Mexicans into the United States to seek asylum. This statement is causing a great humanitarian emergency and now Obrador is deciding whether to fight it or just comply, as either decision could have major negative consequences.

Trump continues to bash immigrants, yet he and his administration have no real facts to back up their statements, and they continue to dodge any legitimate questions they receive.

When it really comes down to it, it is a question of morals, not political views. Most immigrants come to the United States to flee war, poverty, and to make better lives for their children, not to inflict violence or cause trouble, and instead are met with ICE officers, having their children taken away from them for an unknown amount of time, and tear gas. Legal or illegal, immigrants are still human beings and the way Trump is tackling the issue of immigration is only creating more conflict within the United States.


Gun Control: Why America Needs to Follow an International Example

Laura Mosier

In-Depth Editor

There have been 51 mass shootings in the United States as of March 4, 2019. In just 63 days, there have been 51 mass shootings. In this same period of time, 2,344 people have been killed by guns. Out of all of the victims of gun violence in 2019, 458 of those injured or killed were under the age of seventeen.

Fifteen days after the deadliest shooting in Australian history, the Port Arthur Massacre, Australia had implemented the National Firearms Agreement. Since then, gun violence has gone down immensely in Australia. The United States continues to have mass shootings that take the lives of so many people, yet nothing has been done to combat this issue.

The U.S. has a significantly larger number of mass shootings and death due to guns than other countries, such as Australia and Norway, that have implemented stricter gun laws. On July 22, 2011, Norway had the most deadly mass shooting in the world at a summer camp called Utoya. 77 people were killed, and most were children. After the fact, the Norwegian government worked hard to improve national safety in relation to mass attacks. Norway has not had a mass shooting since then.

Both Australia and Norway took action immediately following a tragic event, and both countries were successful in fixing the problem. Neither country has a complete ban on guns. A common misconception is that gun control means banning guns entirely.

The goal of strict gun laws is to make guns harder to obtain so that people who should not have them cannot get them. There is no reason that anyone outside of the military should have an AR-15 or any other type of assault rifle, nor should mass shootings be so common in the U.S. that it is known what the most popular gun is for mass shootings.

Controlling guns will not only help lessen the number of mass shootings drastically, but it will also help lessen the number of suicides by gun and the number of deaths and injuries due to domestic disputes. Guns are not the only method of suicide, but that are a common weapon used for it. By implementing gun control, it will be much harder for someone to obtain a gun if they have a mental illness. This will make is harder for someone who is contemplating suicide to obtain a gun, therefore bringing down the number of suicides by gun.

In domestic disputes, women are more likely to be murdered if a gun is present. Making it harder for people who show signs of excessive anger to obtain a gun. This in turn will lower the number of gun deaths that occur during domestic disputes.

Gun control also applies to how a gun is stored when it’s not being used. By having laws that require guns to be securely locked up, children will not be able to get their parents’ guns, and guns will not be able to be stolen during break-ins. Legally owned guns are frequently stolen and used by criminals, so having gun control will keep them from purchasing guns, and keep them from stealing guns during break-ins.

One of the most common arguments people have opposing gun control is that it violates the Second Amendment, however this is not true. The Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of militias to own guns, not the right for individuals to own guns. Since militias are no longer necessary, the Second Amendment does not apply here. However even if the Second Amendment did apply, conditions have changed since the bill of rights was first created. New amendments are created all the time that change old ways of living. As time goes on, there is a need for change, so altering the second amendment, or adding a new amendment to alter it, would be a necessary change.

Gun violence is a major problem in the United States. Other countries who have recognized the problem have taken action, and it has had a positive impact. Implementing gun control in the U.S. will reduce the number of gun related deaths and injuries, and reduce the number of mass shootings. While gun control will not completely eliminate gun violence, it will help diminish the problem.

The 2018 Midterm Elections: Howard County is Heading in in the Right Direction

Anna Tache

Editorials Editor

During the last Midterm Elections, held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the nation voted to elect candidates for positions such as Senator, House Representative, Governor, and even County Executive. These elections determined our country’s Congress for the next two years and were crucial to the future of our

nation. I had personally hoped for a Democratic takeover of both the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Maryland State Government, and the Howard County Government, and I was not completely disappointed. Although the Democrats did lose the Senate by a few members, they did take over the House with a 26-person lead over the Republicans. In Maryland, Republican incumbent Larry Hogan won the race for governor; however, Maryland elected a Democrat for Attorney General, as well as majority Democrats for the State Senate and the House of Delegates.

When it comes to Howard County, former Council member and Democrat Calvin Ball won against Republican incumbent Allan Kittleman for the seat of County Executive. Ball is the first African American county executive for Howard County, and in my opinion, I think it’s a huge step in the right direction for Howard County. I feel that Ball can speak up for those who have been underrepresented, especially minorities.

On this issue, my reasoning comes from personal experience. In early 2017, a few students from around Howard County, including me, got together to form the Howard County Young Democrats. Our focus was to create and pass a bill that would make Howard County a sanctuary county, which means that we would help protect many immigrants’ immigration statuses. The person who sponsored this bill was Calvin Ball. He helped a small group of high school students take their bill to the Howard County Council for a week-long hearing. Ball was extremely supportive of our efforts and stood beside us the entire time. Eventually, the bill was vetoed by Kittleman. Based on my encounters with both Ball and Kittleman, I feel that Ball has the potential to be a distinguished leader for the county because of his unchanging care for those who tend to be underrepresented.

Ultimately, after following the midterm elections closely on both the national and local level, I feel that I’ve formulated a strong opinion on who I believe should have won. Some of my hopefuls did win, but unfortunately, some did not. In my opinion, although it may seem that while the national government still has a lot of room for improvement, I feel like Howard County is headed in the right direction. 

Want to share your thoughts on topics that matter to you and Hammond students?

The Bear Press welcomes Letters to the Editor. The editor reserves the right to edit material for brevity, grammar, and style. Any obscene, intolerant, or  inappropriate letters will be not be printed. All letters must have the writers name and class. Email letters to

Burned Out Already: Examining How Much Work is Too Much

By: Uma Ribeiro
Staff Writer

Everyone takes pride in working hard – but when does the line cross over from hard work to burning out? Burnout is the result of one overworking themselves into a state of utter mental and physical exhaustion. High school students across the country have exhibited signs of burnout and students at Hammond are no exception.


Freshman Saili Khorjekar tries to
recuperate from a long night of studying. Picture Credit: Uma Ribeiro 

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School starting times: Why they should change

By: Meadow Borlik
Staff Writer

School starting times have always been a problem for middle and high school students. Most schools start at 7am, leaving students with about one hour at least to be prepared and ready for school. With this starting time, many kids are limited to certain activities that must be done in the morning in order to have a good, healthy day. In order for students to have a successful day at school, there must be a change in school start times.

With the school starting times, kids are left with very little time to be ready and out the door  being rushed unless the have gotten eight hours of sleep the night before, which most without students don’t achieve. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15% of students say they’ve gotten a full eight hours of sleep, leaving 85% of students with less. Some may argue that students should go to bed earlier if this is such a problem, but with the trouble of getting enough sleep, comes the trouble of being able to finish the homework and classwork students get from there multiple teachers. Not only does the excessive school work guarantee students to miss a good time to go to bed, but it also keeps many students up late at night and leaves them going to bed in the am. Continue reading

Are Video Games Getting Too Hard?

By: Ethan Daucher
Staff Writer

It seems as if in recent years the gaming industry has shifted its turns to games that are difficult and hard to play. For example Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and the most recent one to come out, Cuphead are among many recent immersions of these new “ultra hard” games. A big question arises and that is whether or not having an extremely difficult game is a good design choice. The more difficult a game becomes, the more exclusionary this game becomes, keeping a handful of people from playing the game and enjoying the content and gameplay it has to offer.

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#MeToo Generates a Culture of Support

By: Molly Schreier
Staff Writer

The sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, beginning in late October, have sparked a movement of speaking out.  As those in the film industry came forward with allegations against Weinstein and other producers and actors, more than one hundred forty female legislators, lobbyists, staffers and political consultants signed a letter to the California State Capitol calling out the toxic culture of sexual harassment that exists.  In both the film industry and politics, most senior positions are held by men, who then have power over the careers of young women trying to advance their careers. Continue reading