It is often difficult for a teen to find a sense of belonging — especially at school. Six years ago, I found my place with online education. I attended Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA) from middle school up until my high school graduation this spring.
My parents felt like I could learn better in the virtual education environment without the social pressures or bullying often found in brick-and-mortal middle schools. My parents and I also felt that because I was academically advanced, I would be able to maintain my grades in a self-paced environment.
Online school allowed me time to give back to my community, as I was able to volunteer with hospice patients. In addition, I earned college credits throughout high school through dual enrollment with a local college. Thanks to my academic achievement and successes at IDVA, I’ve been accepted to Utah State University with a full-ride Presidential Scholarship as a Biomedical Engineering major.
For any students who are yearning for a change in their education, I urge you to consider the plethora of benefits provided by online education. It changed my life for the better, and it can change yours too.
Ezra Kennedy, Meridian
I’m a resident of Boise and I’d like to leave this message for Senators Risch and Crapo and Representatives Simpson and Labrador As an Idahoan and an American, I have always been taught to respect the duly elected president of the U.S., regardless of party. However, with this president, we have had to endure the vulgarity of Access Hollywood, the embarrassing ignorance of history on the world stage at the G7 and NATO, the outright racism of Charlottesville, grandstanding photo ops at Pyongyang with few results (ask Pompeo), the beginning of a reckless trade war with allies and foes for consequences that are yet to be felt, and thousands, yes thousands of lies in the past year and a half. But this latest show with Putin is beyond the pale. As our representatives in Congress you are truly the only check and balance to executive power. It is your constitutional responsibility to exercise that power. Unless you agree with the antics of this president you must speak out. Your silence is admission of your complicity. We are waiting.
Galen Louis, Boise
Why do we need the FBI, CIA and NSA? All they do is attack the president and waste money. Why do we tolerate a polarized, two-party political system? Why can’t we have a system more like Russia’s where the president knows everything, is always right and free to get things done, and everyone agrees with him? Why must we pay attention to places like Yemen and Syria and Sudan and Guatemala? When their citizens come to our border because of civil wars and climate change we need to tell them to go back where they came from. Why do we let women terminate their own pregnancies? Women should be made to pay for their mistakes. Why should we have to pay taxes? The government just makes rules that stop hardworking Americans from making a living. Why do we need newspapers? They just make up stories to discredit our leaders. And why can’t white culture just last forever? It’s clearly the best.
Daniel Reed, Garden City
Endangered Species Act
Rep. Simpson, Sen. Risch and Sen. Crapo must reject any weakening of the Endangered Species Act. This act was signed by a Republican president and has continued to have bipartisan support over the decades. It has been a truly successful law, bringing our national bird, the bald eagle, back from the brink of extinction. In fact, very few other laws can point to the clear record of success the Endangered Species Act has. The level of proof of endangerment needed to get a species on the endangered species list is a very high bar — species that meet this criteria truly need our help.
Without these protections, we are likely to watch many species go extinct while we have the power to save them. Furthermore, many of the habitat protection measures for species on the list actually provide additional benefits such as making ecosystems more resilient for grazing and providing better water quality.
The proposals the Trump administration has put forth to weaken the ESA could be catastrophic.
It is critical that those elected to represent us take action and reject these proposals.
Cara Applestein, Boise
At 3 a.m. when your front door is kicked in and eight seconds later you have three armed men pointing their stolen guns at your face, now some people might call that a home invasion. Although, highly unlikely because there is a law that stops that.
Please, no fear, just simply explain to them there is a gun control law in place to keep guns out of their hands, the criminals that don’t obey laws, and that they are in a gun-free zone because you don’t believe in having those horrible guns that go around killing people.
Then, watch their faces turn red as they now realize what fools they have made of themselves.
Then they will beg for you to forgive them of their foolishness and they will quietly tiptoe out of your home totally embarrassed that they didn’t heed the law.
Now we can see how effective gun control really is.
Steve Dickey, Nampa