We live in a society where teen voices are often the ones that don’t get to be heard. Contrary to popular belief, teenagers are opinionated, especially pertaining to the topics that will influence their generation the most.
Introducing VOX BUBBLE, VOX ATL’s newest series in which VOX ATL’s teen staff members give you their bite sized, unadulterated opinions about society, politics, and pop culture. Taken straight from the VOX ATL groupchat, VOX BUBBLE is meant to be conversational in tone, and gives an easy-to-consume look at what Atlanta teens think about big issues in America. This week, we discussed a new law being introduced in Georgia and a viral video that is causing conversation around the country.
Is Dual Enrollment At Risk?
On January 28th, a new bill, titled House Bill 44 cleared the Georgia senate by a vote of 34-18. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the bill, which is backed by Governor Brian Kemp, seeks to limit the amount of credit hours students can earn in the state’s dual enrollment program. For those who aren’t familiar with Dual Enrollment, the program allows high school students to attend free college courses in the hopes of earning college credit that will save them time and money when they graduate. While the state argues that the bill will save Georgia money that could be spent in other areas, many students, including the teens here at VOX ATL, believe that the bill is only detrimental to the students who are participating in the program.
“Being that I’m a dual enrollment student, it has truly helped me tremendously by decreasing the load as far as college goes. So, I definitely disagree with the bill because it will put harsher limitations on dual enrollment. In addition the requirements by each institution will become stricter to decrease the amount of students participating. “– Jaire R.
“Well, the rules on dual enrollment vary by school. But when I did it, there were kids that did Dual Enrollment starting in the second semester of freshman year and kids that started their senior year, depending on what their goals were. But my bigger issue is less with how many credits you can earn (because some colleges reject Dual Enrollment credits all together) but for some students, college is simply a better learning style/environment. And punishing students for finding learning styles that allow them to grow is a step in the wrong direction for an already struggling education system.” – Haley Henderson
One VOXer seemed to have a different opinion than the rest. Here’s what she had to say.
“It doesn’t affect me personally because I graduate before anything would actually go into effect. But I’m not sure if it’s that bad, I don’t know how many credits normal high school students are able to get if they were to do dual enrollment. Usually a year of dual enrollment? And that’s below 30 credit hours. For students like me, that go to an early college high school, it affects the whole point of the program. If you can’t get your associate’s degree, then there’s no point in staying at the school. You might as well have gone to your local high school instead. “- Jasmine Martin
Well there you have it. Is Georgia just trying to save a couple bucks while punishing students in the process, or genuinely trying to take a step in the right direction by putting a limit on the program? Feel free to give your opinion in the comments below.
Speaking of comments, VOXATL teens also felt a way about a certain viral video coming straight out of Michigan, and they definitely did not hesitate to comment on it.
Go BaCk tO MeXiCo?!?!?
The video in question, which seems to be recorded during some kind of school community meeting, features a Mexican father named Adrian Iraola expressing the unfair treatment his now adult children faced in the school district. “I went to his bedroom to say good night, and he was crying because of the abuse that he was enduring in this school system,” says Adrian. Adrian was then interrupted by a white parent who said, “So why didn’t you stay in Mexico?”
The video, which earned over 800,00 views, has sparked conversation within the VOX ATL community about xenophobia in America.
Luckily, the other parents in the video seemed to rush to support Adrian. VOX staff member Roderick also seemed to note that detail in his response:
“I felt like it was very disrespectful of the parent to say, and I was excited to see that the parents didn’t just let it happen and they actually spoke up about it. Not only did the parents in the meeting speak up for him, but his son even made a public statement about the situation. “- Roderick
VOX teen staff member Noel Greene brought an interesting perspective to the debate in his response shown below:
“It is my opinion that the guy was not trying to be a racist from all the footage that I saw. The guy that was speaking was probably from Mexico. Another thing: kids nowadays in my opinion are mentally soft. People are going to say things about you. You should not let that stop you. LOVE YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT. “- Noel Greene
Long time VOXer Lyric also added a new perspective to the conversation in response to Noel.
“Kids are also like, children. They shouldn’t have to become accustomed to bigotry. Yes, everyone should practice self-love but I feel it’s sorta dismissive to tell someone, especially someone younger, “Oh well if you have self-love and confidence you can just ignore attacks of racism and be proud of who you are.” If they’re constantly told that there’s something wrong with them, it’s gonna be very hard to not be influenced by that.” – Lyric E
VOXer Sydney C. wraps up the issue by citing her own personal experience with being confronted by racist statements:
“I can’t see how the question, ‘Then why didn’t you stay in Mexico?’ could be seen or taken as anything but hurtful. It wasn’t a question that actually pertained to the discussion topic. I’m almost completely sure that the man who asked it didn’t actually want an answer. It was a tactic that I (and I’m sure a lot of other kids) have seen in school to make the person speaking lose their confidence and make the people listening lose interest in what was being said. “– Sydney C