JROTC Students Awarded with Medals of Heroism
by Shawn McCraith '18
The United States Army has awarded three students for their heroism in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, February 14. Peter Wang (15), Alaina Petty (14), and Martin Duque (14) were apart of the schools Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Wang was posthumously accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by the United States Military. Wang was gunned down holding the door open so his classmates could escape. Peter Wang had a lifetime goal of attending West Point. To receive the Medal of Heroism, “the achievement must be an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding that it clearly sets the individual apart from fellow students or from other persons in similar circumstances. The performance must have involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.” is what the U.S. Army’s criteria reads.
One of Wang’s classmates told CNN that “He died a gentleman holding the door for other students.” Lin Chen who is Wang’s cousin said that Wang was wearing his standard JROTC uniform shirt when he left that morning. Wang was reportedly buried in his JROTC uniform with his medal awarded during his funeral service to be pinned in his uniform too. Wang’s family also received a second medal as a keepsake for Peter’s duty on that day. Duque’s family was awarded his medal on Saturday during his funeral and Petty’s family received hers on Monday for the funeral service as well. The other two students also had heroic reasons as to why they received the medal also. Other members of the JROTC program barricaded the doors with kevlar and stood guard during the shooting. In the past 20 years about 48 JROTC heroism medals have been awarded.
Shooting Threats Increase in a Short Time
by Meche Williams '19
*Written on February 23rd*
In Florida there was a shooting that took 17 lives and since then New Mexico schools have received more than 10 threats in the week after the Florida shooting. In total, there have been 17 threats to schools in New Mexico and 1 bomb threat; of those 18, the police have arrested 6 of the people sending the threats. The 18 schools are: Silver High School; received threats on social media to SHS, but police are still investigating, and Las Cruces High School; received a threat on snapchat saying “Mexican School Shooter 2k18 jk guys” from 18 year old Earnest Padilla, who was arrested and is being charged with unlawful carrying a deadly weapon on school premises. The threats went to Alamogordo High School; a freshman made verbal threats and was arrested, several Ruidoso Schools; received threats on social media but no one has been arrested and police believe it was a copycat of the Rio Ranch Threat. At Los Lunas High School a snapchat warned student to skip school because of potential shooting threat but no one has been arrested then at Belen High School; on snapchat one student said, “All BHS students prepare to see my wrath tomorrow…” causing a two hour delay and police tracked the suspect down through is I.P address. Tony Hillerman Middle School and Volcano Vista High School received threats as well; a Virginia man was making threats to the schools and the police arrested him, James Monroe Middle School; received threats through snapchat but no one was arrested, and at Cibola High School; a student made threats through snapchat and police arrested him and are now charging him with interference with the educational process which is a misdemeanor. Rio Rancho High School has received multiple threats on social media but so far no one has been arrested, V. Sue Cleveland High School; threats were made through social media but no one has been arrested, and Ortiz Middle School; a student heard someone make a threat and asked school officials to take him out of school but the police are still investing before they can make arrest. Santa Fe High School received threats on snapchat but the police have not arrested anyone yet, Pojoaque Valley High school; a note found at the school referenced to a threat but police officers have not released what the note said, so no one has been arrested, and Española Valley High School; threats were made through snapchat and two students were arrested and are being charged with Interference of Educational Process. At Grants High School a threat was written in the urinal of a shooting on Feb. 23 and two students are being interviewed but the FBI in connection with the incident. At Kirtland Central High School one student was arrested for leaving a bomb threat in the boys restroom and is being charged with causing a bomb scare which is a felony. The shooting threats all happened in the span of 4 days starting from February 20th to February 23rd.
by Mariah Tso '21
Distracted driving means driving while not fully paying attention to the road; for example, not having your eyes on the road. There are many thing that can cause distracted driving. Examples are reaching for your phone, taking a picture, or putting makeup on, or anything to do with taking your eyes off the road. Many people think it's not dangerous, but it is very dangerous. You could get in an accident. In 2012 there were 3,328 people killed due to distraction-related crashes. The most common distraction is cell phones, but there are apps that help you with distracted driving. Distracted driving is not something new, it has been around and continues to grow everyday. A lot could happen, and it can only take 5 seconds of your eyes off the road, but a lot can happen in 5 seconds.
Everyday in the United States around 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured due to distracted driving. If you do not know what distracted driving is, it’s when you do not have your full attention on the road because it’s somewhere else. For example, texting. In 2010 there were 3,092 deaths and in 2011 there 3,331. In the year of 2010 to 2011 there was a huge increase in the number of people being killed due distracted driving. There are things one can do to prevent more people dying and it's just to stay off your phone.
Texting is one of the major issues but there are texting alternatives. The first one is Voice Recognition which translates words into text, but you still have to use your hands to send the message. Another is Auto Responder. The autoresponder sends out a pre-written message to a caller when you get instant or email messages. This message can explain why you are not answering at the moment because you are driving. Example phrases include “can’t talk right now” and “I'll call you back”. The last one is Text Blockers, an excellent way for teens to message their friends and to prevent teens from texting while driving. It disables texting when the vehicle is going over 10 mph.
There are two disadvantages to distracted driving. The first one is that is dangerous. It is dangerous because you could get into an accident and get seriously hurt or possibly get killed. Researchers have also found that people cannot multitask, the brain can only do one thing at a time. Driving and texting need full attention and you can not do both at the same time. The second reason is the is is against the Law. In New Mexico, texting or talking on the phone while driving is illegal. Also anyone under 18 years old is prohibited from using a cell phone (in any way) while driving. In Utah it's the same law but you could only use your phone if there is an emergency. The state of Colorado bans everyone who is driving from texting and driving, except for emergencies. Drivers who are under 18 years old are can not use any mobile device while driving. As a general rule, drivers should make every effort to move to a safe place off of the road before using a cell phone for example pull over. However, in emergency situations a driver must use their judgment regarding the urgency of the situation and the necessity to use a cell phone while driving. The safest thing is you could do is just pull to the side of the road or park somewhere where you could answer the phone.