January 22, 2019
On December 22, 2018, President Donald J. Trump issued a government shutdown due to several disputes between the Democratic party and the Republican party in the White House over immigration issues. Since 1776, there have been a total of 21 government shutdowns, the current one being the longest one we have ever had. The shutdown hits closer to home, at Atholton High School, affecting students and events alike.
The reason for the shutdown is that the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the President are not able to agree on a wall along the Mexico-United States border. Nancy Pelosi had refused to fund this wall and Trump had failed to get the bill for the wall passed. It is now January 22, 2019, and the government shutdown is on its 32nd day. Trump states that the shutdown could last for “months or even years”. He also states it’s a matter of “national security”. This event affects individuals around the United States; Atholton and the state of Maryland is no exception.
“I am involved with Allied Bowling, and one of the parents works at the White House. We had planned a field trip for our team to bowl at the White House bowling alley,” says Mr. Stuppy, just one of the many who were affected. “But with the shutdown, the White House doesn’t have the staff to support our field trip anymore.” He continued, “It was kind of a disappointment because we were looking forward to it and without it being opened there was no one to reschedule it.” He hesitated, but gave his thoughts: “My opinion on the matter is that there is an issue with conflict and resolution- what we teach in high school is how to get what you want and how to respond to get what you want.” He stated, “Regardless of political ideology, sometimes you compromise, sometimes you win or lose, and I think that’s what we try to instill in Allied Sports. How you respond in a setback.” He explains that a lot of people are left in a “lurch” referring to, people affected personally by the shutdown. Mr. Stuppy himself said that he has family who are not getting paid.
Unfortunately, this is a reality for many Americans who work for or have family members who work for the government. People might not be able to pay their rent or maybe even support their families because of delayed or missing paychecks.
Fortunately, Howard County is working to provide support for these families. The Howard County Public School System offered applications for free or reduced-priced meals (FARMS) through a letter for government workers’ families. The letter states that, “those who do not receive FARMs assistance will have the remainder of the school year to pay off any meal balances incurred during the government shutdown.” In addition to FARMS, Howard County is also giving assistance to any students feeling pressured or anxiety during this time through their staff. Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano said, “No child should go hungry and no parent should fear their child will not eat because they cannot afford to pay for their meals during this period.” He also encourages families to take advantage of the resources the county provides.
It is a comforting fact for the people affected to get a loose compensation from the county. The longer the shutdown goes, the more money some lose. Hopefully, all students in Howard County and Atholton get the help they need.