Do Teachers Deserve More Money As Schools Become More Dangerous?

in Editorial , by Jeff Nelson
Photo credit here.

Photo credit here.

With shootings in public schools continuously being the headlines in the news, many people think that choosing to be a teacher is becoming an increasingly dangerous job to choose. In addition to having teachers are paid more money because of the risk that they take in becoming a teacher.

All of these factors are beginning to become more relevant in our society and within our school districts when hiring new teachers but has not become largely popular with funding.

In order to become a teacher you must complete a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and receive your teaching credentials from an accredited University. Others move onto more schooling and receive their Master’s or Doctoral degree so they can teach in higher education. With the growing cost of receiving a degree, most students graduate college with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and then expected to start paying it back within months.

This is a problem that is becoming more relevant, especially with teachers because of the average starting salary being so low, sitting around $39,000. This doesn’t include how much they actually get paid after taxes of course.

With the risk of becoming a teacher here in the United States becoming worse, the amount of teachers within the marketplace is becoming fewer. This is making it harder to find qualified teachers that are willing to be paid less than they are worth. In all reality teachers do deserve to make more money than they currently are. Our society has it flipped around with where money is being allocated.

While our teachers are educating the adults of our future and making very low salaries, we continue to pump more money into entertainment such as sports, music and movies.

In no means do they not deserve what they are making but the society needs to begin to shift their focus on our soldiers in the classroom that are creating the society of tomorrow and keeping our kids out of trouble. Eventually, if the risk of being a teacher continues to grow we will see a larger shortage of teachers; this could be changed with offering better salaries and safer environment.


New Mexico Gunman Stopped by Words from a Teacher

in News , by Jeff Nelson

John Masterson is the newest hero in the latest tragic school shooting in New Mexico. The shooter was just 12 years old when he brought his shotgun to Berrendo Middle School and changed the lives of many. Two students were shot.

Masterson, after the gunman had shot the two students, simply used his words to subdue the shooter.  It’s not part of a teacher’s regular duties to stop a gunman. A teacher’s job is difficult enough in middle school dealing with ‘almost teenagers’ who want to prove they are not youngsters anymore. They also have to continue to keep up changing curriculum and technology. They may need to add a crisis management portion to teaching programs in the U.S.

The two victims went to the hospital, the shooter ended up in the Albuquerque psychiatric hospital after his hearing and the teacher went home. The students of the middle school were in the gym when the shooting occurred and left the gym ‘in an orderly fashion’. They were then united with their families.

This has been the youngest school shooter but unfortunately not the only one. The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting started a nationwide discussion on the safety of schools. USA Today has reported that new findings, recently issued by the Justice Department and Education Department, have shown that violence has dropped for teachers and students and safety has improved.

Companies have come forth with Kevlar material for backpacks and chairs that can be used as shields in the unfortunate event a school becomes in trouble. There has been mandatory education for teachers on how to talk with shooters and evasive methods to use. It is thought anti-bullying campaigns have also helped to reduce the incidents of school shootings.

Several measures for physical security have been implemented. Practices like locking exterior doors and having all visitors sign in have been simple, yet effective measures. This, of course, would only stop those that are not students of the school. Installing metal detectors at entrances and having a police presence within the schools is also being implemented as possible.

There are have been many reports that there were some signs that these troubled students were up to something. Social media sometimes saw disturbing telltale signs from posts. Sometimes the troubled student would hint to classmates something would be happening. In the past students would dismiss this. Now, with anonymous reporting, students are coming forth. It has been a community effort but appears to be paying off.

Many of the gunmen have histories that are similar. They are loners and have a fascination with violence and guns. Video games have been blamed. Parenting has been blamed. It appears that the differences in the shooters show that there has not been one factor that can be pinpointed. Let’s hope the downward trend continues in school shootings!


Essex County Authorities in New Jersey arrest 13 accused in county jail smuggling ring

in News , by


Newark announced that authorities arrested 13 people including two Essex County jail corrections officers.  These officers were accused in a smuggling ring that was operated like a hotel with room service.  Prisoners were allowed to have cell phones, drugs and other contraband authorities said.  According to the article 2 inmates inside would take the orders from the general population and pass the information to the corrections officers where the officers would send word down to the streets.

Does anyone seem surprised?  This is just another article and bust in a long line of busts that have occurred with professional medical staff down to our prison and jail systems.  Our parole officers are overloaded with cases all over the Unites States. A probation officer salary isn’t huge, and parole officers don’t start at a very large wage either.  The average wage of these professionals are lower than a special education teacher salary

A special Ed teacher can start out at $75,000 a year in a higher based tax school district.  The probation and Parole agents work for the state and average around $16.00 an hour.

Why would corrections officers get involved with a smuggling ring?  Do they do this for money or for the thrill of some action in the careers of stresses that they have chosen.  It might be greed in some cases or the rush, but it might also be the fact that they have become so numb to their jobs that they become angry and work with the other side.  This job takes a lot of courage but our jail and prison systems are over loaded with gang members who have huge connections on the outside and are still controlling the streets through the jail system. 

The war on drugs will never end and we have to realize that because since the war started more of the kids have used by the age of 12.  Programs in schools that teach children the risks of illegal drugs also intrigue them because some children have actually admitted that to teachers.

We read about these incidences all the time in the newspapers and hear about these items on television but how many of us really want to get involved.  In 1989, there was a multi-million dollar credit card scam that traveled through 8 prisons by piecing together credit card receipts.  This scam was followed for over 8 months and many guards, officials, law enforcement officers and prisoners were involved in this scam. 

After all America has been through, this is not surprising.  Our economy is low and prison guards have trouble making ends me as well as any of us.  The majority of people are now on prescription drugs and you can find street hustlers on every corner near every travel spot trying to sell drugs for money.  Professional business men and women buy drugs and a lot of this is going on in offices across the country as well.



Does The Media Affect Our View Of Language And Bilingual Education?

in Editorial , by Jeff Nelson


Photo credit here.

Photo credit here.

In 2013, US brands spent about $4.1 billion on social media marketing alone.  While this number doesn’t look as big as it used to with the US being $17 trillion in debt, it’s still a staggering amount of money spent on what comprises a minority of advertising budgets for large companies. In fact, according to another source, companies spend about 9.4% of their marketing budgets on social media advertising. Knowing those two things, and with some simple math, we can extrapolate a total media spend of somewhere around $43.6 billion dollars.

How Does This Affect Languages?

Almost every area of our lives is touched by some form of media. From Google Adsense ads to intrusive commercials in the middle of our favorite programs, we can’t hardly help but notice what the large brands are doing. A simple article on Venezuelan food turns out to be a marketing platform for some unknown company that may or may not have anything to do with food and most certainly has nothing to do with Venezuela.

It’s not only what is said in the advertising, but how it is said. Certain groups of people, inevitably ones that speak other languages, are portrayed in a certain way across many different mediums. Mexicans, for example, are generally shown to be poor and desperate; the products of a third world country. These types of stereotypes are either knowingly or unknowingly perpetuated by the media.

That being said, those who speak Spanish, associated with Mexicans, are sometimes unfairly thought of as lower-class citizens. These feelings inevitably stop people from wanting to learn those languages or be a part of those cultures. Cultural perception is actually one of the biggest detractors of teaching kids certain languages.

Other stereotypes, like those of Arabic speaking people or people of Middle Eastern decent, are even more harmful.

What Can Be Done?

While a journalist’s job is to “keep the public informed about current news and events,” they inevitably put their own bias and spin on their stories. I’m sure if you asked any of the 403 universities with journalism programs in the United States whether or not they are teaching their journalists to perpetuate stereotypes, they would decline emphatically. Syracuse University actually has a class entitled, “Critical Perspective On News” with a state goal, in part, to:

“Evaluation of media performance, ethics, and practices, focusing on how well they serve society”


Even with literally billions of dollars per year helping to keep the status quo in check, all is not lost. We can continue to help spread the good word of diversity, equality, and worth for all people regardless of their current standing or the way they are portrayed to the masses.