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1. Guns in the Schools
1 In August 2008, the school board in rural Harrold, Texas, became the first in the United States to permit teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons into a school. After receiving forty hours of weapons training and a permit to carry a concealed handgun, a teacher would be “certified” to take his or her weapon into the classroom, lunchroom, or bathroom.
2 Why? To prevent a Columbine High School (thirteen dead, twenty-three wounded in 1999) or a Virginia Tech (thirty-two dead, numerous wounded in 2007) type massacre by gunmen. According to the school board’s logic, a teacher could pull out a Glock 9 mm and waste a potential assassin before he unloaded his own weapon, thereby saving innocent lives. Even the public knowledge that old Mr. Crotch, the English teacher, or Ms. Slink, the attractive music teacher, might be carrying a pistol would probably be sufficient to deter an armed attack.
3 The reactions ranged from shock on the part of the teacher organizations and many teachers, administrators, and parents to enthusiastic endorsement by Texas governor Rick Perry, who supported similar statewide legislation proposed in the legislature. The National Rifle Association was ecstatic, as were gun rights supporters across the United States.
4 School violence is a problem in some schools, though students are much more likely to suffer harm at home or otherwise away from school. But school shootings capture the public attention and evoke feelings of horror and fear for one’s own children. School kids— particularly boys—have always fought but what is different today is the easy availability of firearms and the willingness to use them to settle a dispute. But if we cannot keep guns out of schools, is arming teachers and staff the best alternative—fighting fire with fire?
5 Thirty-seven states currently ban guns from school. Only two states permit them. Utah allows concealed weapons on college campuses and South Carolina permits a student, teacher, administrator, or any other school employee or visitor to carry concealed weapons in his or her vehicle on school grounds. However, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Virginia, and several other states were considering permitting guns on school property in 2009. Federal law prohibits taking a gun within 1,000 feet of a school under the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1996.
6 Are concealed weapons in schools a good idea? Perhaps at first blush the concept has appeal, but like most everything else in the public policy world, the devil is in the details.
Do teachers and administrators want the tremendous responsibility of carrying a weapon and possibly using it against an armed or threatening student?
At what point in a potentially violent conflict should a teacher actually deploy and use his or her gun? When a credible threat is communicated? A knife pulled? A shot fired?
Will teachers be asked to purchase and maintain their own pistol, or would the school board or state purchase and maintain it instead? Who pays?
Who will be responsible for ensuring that weapon-carrying teachers maintain their permits and receive regular weapons training?
What happens when a teacher’s firearm accidentally discharges and injures someone?
And most important: are there other, better policy options for handling violence in the schools?
1. what is the author’s point?
2. What is the Author’s purpose?
3. How would you describe the author’s tone?
2. Columbus Revisited
1 When Columbus set sail in 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain wanted him to spread Christianity while fulfilling his promise of finding a route to Asia. Columbus, as it turned out, did neither, and it’s a wonder why we have given him a national holiday.
2 When Columbus first sighted land, he thought he was somewhere in the East Indies, but he was actually stepping on shore of what is now Barbados. Claiming everything in sight as the property of Spain, Columbus demanded that the native population pay tribute, preferably in gold. If they refused outright or seemed to be making insufficient efforts to pay, their hands were chopped off per order of Columbus.
3 In 1493, as the governor of Hispaniola, now Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Columbus gifted the New World population with imported European diseases, malnutrition, overwork, and painful punishment for any failure to follow his orders. Eventually, Columbus’s rule and its aftermath took a terrible toll, reducing the population to a mere 22,000 people.
4 With time even the Spanish missionaries, sent to help Columbus spread God’s word, were alarmed by his behavior. One missionary reported that Columbus was guilty of “robbing and destroying the land.” The missionary was appalled because Columbus thought nothing of cutting down a whole forest in order to have enough wood for heat and building construction. By 1500, even his Spanish sponsors knew their man was a failure. Stripped of his authority, Columbus was returned to Spain in chains at the command of the new governor.
5 In the light of his failures, we have to wonder about those people who claim that Columbus’s voyage began a new era of exploration and that his great achievement is worthy of a federal holiday.
1. What is the author’s point?
2. What is the author’s purpose
3. How would you describe the author’s tone?
Do These Parents Talk to Their Kids?
According to a report of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 20 percent of adolescents have had sex before their fifteenth birthday. The report also revealed that only a third of these adolescents’ parents know their children are sexually active. Such alarming statistics should cause us to wonder why parents aren’t communicating more with their children.
Communication between parents and children is important, and far too many parents seem to be falling down on the job. How can two-thirds of them not know what their own children are doing? And why aren’t they talking to their kids and making them understand the risks of becoming sexually active? Are these parents that oblivious to the temptations bombarding modern young people? Or are the parents simply too lazy or self-absorbed to concern themselves with how their own kids are spending their free time?
Whatever the reason for parents’ apathy and ignorance, it’s the kids who will ultimately pay the price. One in seven sexually active fourteen-year-old girls gets pregnant. And sexually experienced adolescents are far more likely than virgins to smoke, drink alcohol, and use drugs. Thanks to parents who won’t get their heads out of the sand and watch their own kids, America’s young people are growing up much too fast.
The author would like readers to agree that .answer the below question
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The Genius of Camille Claudel
Camille Claudel (1864–1943) was an extraordinarily talented French sculptor, who initially was remembered largely for being the model, assistant, and mistress of the legendary artist Auguste Rodin, creator of the famous sculpture The Kiss. Camille Claudel, however, was a gifted sculptor in her own right. She created gorgeous marble and bronze sculptures such as The Waltz, Wave, and The Age of Maturity, which left even Rodin in awe of her talent.
These masterpieces have won Claudel posthumous, critical acclaim from many of today’s art critics and historians. Yet, sadly, it took almost three-quarters of a century for her to get the recognition she fully deserved. For many years after her death, the genius she showed as a young artist was largely forgotten by all but a few art historians.
Some of those historians have argued that Claudel’s talent was unfairly eclipsed by that of her teacher and lover. The respected and popular Rodin occupied a prominent place in French culture, and even though Claudel established her own reputation, she never quite managed to emerge from his shadow, especially during a time when being an artist was still considered a masculine calling.
After Claudel, pregnant with Rodin’s child, lost their baby, she suffered serious bouts of depression. Her behavior became increasingly unstable and she was plagued by persecution fantasies. In despair because Rodin would not leave his wife, Claudel left Rodin in 1898 to strike out on her own, but her mental condition only worsened.
Tragically, Claudel’s family, embarrassed by her free-wheeling lifestyle as an artist, used Claudel’s depressed state to have her institutionalized in 1913 after her father died. However, her mother and brother refused all medical advice about providing Claudel with effective treatment, preferring to keep her locked away in order to protect the family name. While living on her own, Claudel had become notorious for insisting that she wanted to create her sculptures from nude models. That male artists used nude models was understood. But for a female artist of the time, it was a shocking demand. Her mother and brother seem not to have forgiven Claudel for her “wild” behavior, and it was their preference that she be hospitalized for the rest of her life, which she was.
Claudel spent thirty years in an institution, forbidden to have any visitors except members of her family. During that time, she destroyed most of what she had accomplished during her years of confinement. However, close to one hundred pieces of her work have survived. They are the basis of the acclaim she began to receive in the 1980s when feminist art historians began writing about her work and a film was made of her tragic but artistically productive and creative life.
The author would like readers to agree that Answer the following question
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