Top News Stories of 2016

Kiara Billups, Staff Writer

The year of 2016 has been full of surprises and monumental moments in history  Donald Trump won the presidential election.  Over the summer, the Black Lives Matter movement made headlines again. There was also the Dakota Pipeline Access story. If you’re a bit behind in current events, no worries. The Blaize has your back. Here’s the top stories and why they matter.

Donald Trump is the President-Elect. Donald Trump won the election for president on Nov. 8, 2016. Before Trump won the election, he said that he was going to build a wall to keep immigrants from coming to our country.  He has made racist comments, and his most controverisal was probably during during his presidential announcement speech in June 2015 when he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re sending their people that have lots of problems…they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Some of Trump’s supporters like Mitt Romney, left Trump’s team because they think some of the things he is doing and saying are outrageous.

Tracy Balla, history teacher at RLHS said, “Students should care about the election because President-Elect Trump and Congress will be creating and enforcing laws of the country for the next several years.” With Trump as president we could see lots of change in the way things are. Changes such as health care, immigration laws, and social security. Balla stated, “It’s a long way off for high school students to think about, but students with jobs are paying into Social Security.”

Black Lives Matter Movement is Gaining More Ground. The Black Lives Matter movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrice Cullors in 2013, but became an even bigger deal in the summer of 2016. It became such a big deal when videos of white cops killing blacks started surfacing all over the Internet, with the most noticeable killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. The African American community around the country disliked the killings, so they decided to fight back by protesting.  The movement has even expanded to celebrities.

“The relationship between civilians and the police are changing,” Balla said. “Many police officers don’t feel safe doing their job and many Americans citizens don’t trust they will be treated fairly by police officers. With what’s going on, this has put fear in the communities.Everyone has to come together to restore the trust between all Americans and police officers, not just African Americans and the police officers.”

The Dakota Access Pipeline Protest is a Win for Environmentalists and Human Rights Activists Everywhere. Late in the summer of 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakot began to protest plans to install giant pipe that would carry crude oil from the Dakotas to Illinois. The tribe decided to protestbecause they felt like the government has not respected the treaties they were granted.

“[The Standing Rock Sioux felt that] this is another example of the U.S. government not honoring the land that was set aside for Native American groups because the pipeline has the potential to contaminate the water supply that runs through the reservation land,” Balla said. The companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline had to go to the federal court to get a decision on to continue with it or not.The pipeline was delayed for further talks with the Native Americans tribe. At last, the Army Corp of Engineers’ decision was to reroute the pipeline.”This might not seem like a big deal to high school students in Illinois,” Balla said. “But like the BLM protests, government works best when it has the support of the public.”

High school students should pay more attention to things that are happening in the world.It shows that the students are worried about the world and the things that are happening.These things affect students, even if it doesn’t seem like it doesn’t.