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A silent cry for help! Undergraduates are dying.


College is a place we come to enhance our education, to learn more about ourselves, and to choose our career paths. While most students live on-campus housing to gain the experience of living on our own, dorm life can be an intimidating environment. Yes, it’s fun and exciting to leave family and friends and arrive at college knowing only a handful of people, but it’s also stressful. Stress is a normal life process, and all freshmen will experience it. Unlike negative stress that can be debilitating, eustress pushes students beyond our fears to reach our goals, encouraging us to bring new ideas to our ever-growing world, like how to get along with a roommate we don’t like.

On the other hand, for students, who are unprepared to meet these challenges that quickly arrive going to college; these challenges can be draining. Mental illness is rising exponentially and is acting an epidemic that is spreading worldwide. Two million of our brightest youth want to kill themselves, and three-quarters of them are being ignored. “More than one in three undergraduates reported ‘feeling so depressed it was difficult to function,’ and nearly one in 10 reported ‘seriously considering attempting suicide’ in the previous year” according to the 2008 National College Health Assessment sponsored by the American College Health Association. Tragically, according to the Journal of Academic Health, most people who struggle with a mental health illness will not be diagnosed until it becomes quite severe. Many will argue that the mental health and psychological services are not needed and are a costly resource that needs to be cut from the universities budget. For the thousands of students that go to a single intuition, this service is the difference between them having an opportunity to function in a school environment and get an education.

Colleges fail in helping because they rarely promote their services. When this illness makes students feel different than anyone else. Many don’t get diagnosed because of the lack of thought put into the programs. If universities want to help students, they need to truly make students feel welcomed by allowing anyone to partake in learning about resources for incentive maybe food or points toward prizes.  As stated by Medical Care Research and Review, “Perceived public stigma was considerably higher than personal stigma”. What this means is that people are more afraid of how others will perceive them. In the article called The College Mental Health Crisis: Focus on Suicide, Dr. Beresin writes in his research about how schools should increase their access to mental health counseling. He believes that we need to increase counseling services as many school still don’t have have or properly use them. Another of his ideas are creating a foster community counseling and support forum in the universities. By establishing these it lets kids feel less hesitant than trying to take to some an adult. These ideas are good because they allows students to be more open to expression and to try to reduce stigma that occurs with recieving help. Besides, University only advertises their services at the beginning of the school year. As a student who has attended both community college and traditional universities, I can say for a fact there are considerable differences in demographics and how they go about their educational services. In a recent study, the American College  Counseling  Association  Community  College  Task  Force  (2010)  found  that  95% of community colleges have no contracted on-site psychiatry services, compared to 58.8% of traditional universities (Gallagher, 2012).

Many People ask is there a criterion to determine who has a mental illness. There are some symptoms to identify, but when doing self-examinations, it may be difficult. The reason it is difficult to determine is because of the many similarities between having stress and some mental illnesses. For example, in the article by Mental Health America, explains that depression and stress have similar symptoms like having memory problems, trouble sleeping, trouble functioning, and change in eating habits. Among these symptoms with depression comes thoughts of self-harm/suicide, feeling drained, feeling overwhelmed, withdrawing from friends/loved ones, and finally having negative thoughts about yourself.  In terms of depression alone, A 2010 study conducted by the American College Health Association found that “28% of college students reported feeling so depressed at some point they had trouble functioning, and 8% sought treatment for depression” (Mental Health America, 2015). One group of students that are at risk to deal with mental health issues are those in the LBGTQ. The reason being is they face a variety of issues revolving their situation such as “’coming out” in public and be accepted by their identity. According to the article called Mental Health Matters: A Growing Challenge, minorities, and international students are also at a higher risk of mental health. “International students are vulnerable because, in addition to facing the same stressors as everyone else, they have to assimilate into a new culture and are far from their network of family and friends” (Brown, 2016). The reason minorities face a greater risk is because of the racial and cultural differences they may face in society as well as the financial problems. Minorities, in my opinion, have it worst because of the fact are less disposable to receive treatment.  “Individuals low in emotion management competence are less willing to seek help from family, friends and health professionals” (Storrie, Ahern, Tuckett, 2010).

What is alarming is that there are critics who argue that mental health services on campus aren’t useful and have a slight success in the lives of students. This is inaccurate. Students with mental health issues depend on these services; to them, they are a necessity of life on campus. Without having this support, hundreds of thousands of undergraduates will have their lives impacted. The young adults will face even more obstacles as their resources get stripped of them. University students depend on these services which can help them keep them on track with their personal, academic goals. The journal called The mental health needs of today’s college students: Challenges and recommendations states “Mental health problems may also have a negative impact on academic performance,  retention, and graduation rates.   Brackney and Karabenick   found that high levels of psychological  distress among college students were significantly related to academic performance”(Brackney 1995). How it affects is mental illness’ such as depression can cause students to lose motivation to do even the simplest task such as eating, getting up for classes, and even self-hygiene. Anxiety another mental health illness can make it difficult to interact with teachers and other students; as well as function through the campus every day. In turn, the board of education would be adding more weight to these students who have enough on their plate, to begin with. Service like these offers a sort of relief to know they have someone who cares about them and checks on them nearby. A huge portion of Our undergrads would not have been able to keep up with the demands of school as well as their condition. Thus, leading universities nationwide have a worse reputation because not only will an abundant of people have their GPAs be lowered due to not being able to concentrate in classes but also Dropout rates will increase. College is expensive already; to have to constantly repeat courses due to medical issues it’s a waste of money that most people don’t even have to begin with.

For this reason, I’ve researched to try to discover any methods of coping with mental illness. I found that student’s primary means of dealing as well as some new techniques of coping with stress. When attending a university while suffering from a mental illness such as depression or anxiety; it is critical to keep yourself emotionally healthy. This means try to formulate new bonds find good friends to have your back but also maintain your emotional ties with loved ones (whether friends or family) close. The reason for this is it makes it easier when dealing with obstacles if you even fall in a rut, while you may not notice your loved ones can guide to in the right direction to get help. Notably, A systematic review: Students with mental health problems—A growing problem, just that.  “Individuals with high levels of psychological distress might not recognize that their psychological state is unusual. They might not understand that there are effective ways of coping with the distress or know how to obtain help” (Storrie, Ahern, Tuckett, 2010). Overall treatments depend on the severity of the mental illness but for the most part it involves psychiatric counseling. These professions will assess your symptoms to diagnose a proper treatment, which may include medication for severe chronic illnesses such a being bipolar and schizophrenia. The key to treating mental illnesses is to diagnose and treat early on. This is why it is essential for students to take care of themselves when living on campus.

An alternative method used that has had the effective result is mindfulness. When individuals think about the practice of mindfulness otherwise know as mediation, they associate the world with the religious practice of Buddhism. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology define mindfulness as a process in which that allows the user to reach a mental state where they are aware of the present yet can reflect on their sensations, thoughts, and bodily states. “The basic premise underlying mindfulness practices is that experiencing the present moment nonjudgmentally and openly can effectively counter the effects of stressors, it can help students remain focused and calm” (Hofmann et. al 2010). The way mindfulness can help is for students who used negative coping methods such as self harm, substance and alcohol abuse, or even have bad reoccurring thoughts , it can allow you to change your personality and curve your impulses. Now, these methods aren’t used for all mental disorders only mood and anxiety disorder such as depression. These methods should act as a reinforcement to what your health care professional diagnoses and shouldn’t be used without seeking the proper medical help first.

On the contrary, many students when dealing with mental illness’ take up negative forms of coping as mentioned alcohol/substance abuse and self-harm. “Approximately one in five college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder”( Pedrelli et al. 2015). Furthermore, about 44% of students binge drink regularly; with mental illness rising at an alarming rate these students are in a whirlwind of trouble. Alcohol is not the only thing to worry about on campus. The frequent use of drugs and other illegal substances are present. The standard drugs you will hear about and see are weed, cocaine, acid, pills (Adderall, Xanax) and even Promethazine w/Codeine (otherwise known as Lean). The blurred line between relief of stress and avoiding problems are prevalent in such an environment. “Neurobiological mechanisms in areas associated with craving, negative affect, and substance use relapse may be affected by mindfulness training” (Witkiewitz, Lustyk, & Bowen, 2012). Depending on the case and severity practicing mindfulness with the help of a medical professional, can allow you to revert bad habits.

Many have speculated that by having offered these services, it holds the university responsible and acts as a liability putting the university at risk. When quite the opposite, by providing mental and psychological health services it can help keep the university from lawsuits. For example, many students with depression may turn to negative ways of coping such as substance abuse and even self-harm. Nowadays, we hear about these tragedies happen too often in media. “Several institutions, including Brown, Harvard, and MIT, have been the target of lawsuits alleging inadequate or negligent treatment of mental health problems. One widely publicized case (Thernstrom, 1998) involves the family of Trang Ho. Ho was a Harvard University student who was murdered by her mentally ill roommate Sinedu Tadesse, who subsequently committed suicide.  Ho’s family filed suit against Harvard alleging negligence by failing to adequately monitor the troubled student” (Kitzrow, M. A. 2003). Stories of instances like these and suicides are becoming more and more prevalent in media. Dr. Eugene V. Beresin, M.D., who is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School states more than 1,000 suicides take place on college campuses every year which turns out to be about two to three per day. With students suffering and losing their lives over things they cant control i dont understnad why no one wants to help. Statistics show that “80-90% of college students who die by suicide were not receiving help from college counseling centers” (Beresin, 2017). The excuses and claims made by critics are put to rest after this cold fact. It is as simple as taking initative. By stopping the services, universities can prevent lawsuits and even more keep the students safe while pursuing their goals. The risk of not having health services are more significant than having them because with tragedies happening it not only cost the university money but hurts its future reputation.

In conclusion, the fact of the matter is mental health is rising, and we need to take steps looking forward to reducing the amount present. Together the university needs to be more proactive in their approach to combatting and promoting the mental health services. Things need to change because if not we will continue to lose more and more lives everyday. Universities need to change there whole approach in those who have counseling services.  By allowing incentives, this allows students to get to know symptoms as well as how to methods of treatment without feeling judged or intimidated. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s is trying to develop a College Screening Project to allow them to determine which students need assistance. Although having a program like this add up to be another expense at the cost of the university this can help prevent future lawsuits as well as attract more family’s knowing their kids have a some to turn to. I believe that after the Screening test gets accurate it will be a great tool for helping to assist those students who may not have the courage to speak up or are even clueless about their symptoms. After all College is the place to learn, strive to reach our career goals and grow up as we start our new chapter into adulthood. Therefore it with the expensiveness of college tuition the least they can do is enable students to receive the resources they need to focus on their classes. Not to mention, This is essential for providing a safe environment for all and avoid future incidents. Without the help of universities, this disables the many who want a chance at a healthy life.


Bowen, S. (03/2014). Relationship between dispositional mindfulness and substance use: Findings from a clinical sampleElsevier.10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.10.026

Brown, J. (n.d.). A Growing Number of College Students are Seeking Help for Anxiety, Depression, Stress, and Psychological Disorders | BU Today | Boston University.

Emily A. Pierceall & Marybelle C. Keim (2007) Stress and Coping Strategies Among Community College Students, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 31:9, 703-712, DOI

Downs, M. F., Golberstein, E., Zivin, K., & Eisenberg, D. (n.d.). Stigma and Help Seeking for Mental Health Among College Students.

Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169-183. doi:10.1037/a0018555

Katz, D. (2013). Community college student mental health: A comparative analysis (Order No. 3572817). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1434835907).

Kitzrow, M. A. (2003). The Mental Health Needs of Todays College Students: Challenges and Recommendations. NASPA Journal, 41(1).

Moise, G. (2014). Good stress or bad stress? relationships between stress appraisals and strains in health care practitioners (Order No. 3630437). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1563382680).

Pedrelli, P., Nyer, M., Yeung, A., Zulauf, C., & Wilens, T. (2015). College Students: Mental Health Problems and Treatment Considerations. Academic Psychiatry : The Journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry, 39(5), 503–511.

Storrie, K., Ahern, K. and Tuckett, A. (2010), A systematic review: Students with mental health problems—A growing problem. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 16: 1-6.

Stressed or Depressed? Know the Difference. (2015, October 08). Retrieved from


I propose that black culture is becoming too mainstream resulting African Americans in losing their culture. Fashion trends from black culture and hip-hop culture has become a common influence in what all celebrities wear today.

Black culture started out first and foremost as a political argument. From the top of the head to the bottom of the feet everything was an expression of resistance and black culture. However, this culture was barely noticed in mainstream until late 1973, otherwise known as, the birth of hip hop. The hip hop era took to the youth like a moth take to a flame. It shocked many around the world and is still a major source of influence today. With the new success and spotlight, black culture was at its prime. Fast forward 17 years later and Brandy, Tyra Banks, Tupac, and The Notorious B.I.G bless the 1990’s with unapologetic culture. This is the era that is currently referred to when looking for the “new” look.

The more black fashion appears in mainstream the less black, black people become. When black fashion is pictured we start to imagine black men and women in gold jewelry, wearing Air Jordan’s, and braids. These are just three things that make black people black and give representation to the black community. However somewhere along the line the public—mostly white celebrities—started to notice the stylish ideas that were being created. Although it is uncertain when this phenomenon started to occur, it was visible when white rappers felt comfortable wearing oversized clothing and when white women decided it was a good idea to wear braids and hoop earring. This was not a big problem until they wore it and it was branded as their own to sell and distribute with no acknowledgment of where it really originated.  This lead to widespread cultural appropriation and people believing that they could be more socially acceptable and grab the media’s attention if they dressed like a black person. For example, Huffington Post article “On Miley Cyrus, Hip-hop, And The Objectification Of Black Women” by DeAsia Paige suggests that Miley Cyrus’ new style and attitude that was influenced by hip hop culture was the sole reason why she is considered to be demeaning and appropriating of black women.

Black fashion has always been a political statement of freedom and fighting against oppression. According to Buzzfeed’s video, “100 Years of Black Fashion,” natural hair, Afros, and African cloth became symbols of African heritage and pride and were further popularized throughout the 1960s.” From the 1960’s and 1970’s black fashion depicted the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. Members of the Black Panther movement popularized afros and dark sunglasses. In the 1973 the greatest contribution to music was created, otherwise known as the birth of hip hop. Hip hop music influenced many teens to sport bright athletic track suits and loose-fitting clothes. Black icons such as Michael Jackson, Salt and Pepa, and Whitney Houston brought their unapologetic style and grace to the 80’s with flaming red leather jackets and matching outfits for couples. Finally, we come to the most inspirational era of black culture the 90’s. During the 1990’s, black women were going back into their roots and wearing a multitude of fashionable braids. Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Erykah Badu influenced generations to come that it was okay to be natural and take care of black hair. In today’s era some aspects of black culture are flourishing while others are being taken advantage of completely. According to “Money flowing into the natural hair industry is a blessing and curse for those who built it up” an article on LA Times written by Makeda Easter in 2016, 2.5 billion dollars was spent on black hair care product by black consumers. While natural hair goes up hair relaxers are taking a 36 percent dive in prices from 2012 to 2017, stated by the article “USA: Relaxer sales fall but Black hair care market is booming, thanks to natural hair movement” from the website Brazil Beauty News. Unfortunately, the more black women wear their natural hair out the more attention it grabs as with all black fashion.

“An Illustrative Identity of Fashion and Style Throughout African-American History and Movements” an article written by Danielle James at Huffington Post believes fashion to be a true identity of the black community. Fashion and style has always been the shining beacon of pride in the black community. The black community started to really express themselves by going to church since it allowed them the time to be themselves in an environment which was not subjected to the racism and  hatred of society. Many would dress in elegant suits with matching hats and purses because black people often had to wear uniforms during the work days. In the 1960’s black people started to use African fabric to announce their heritage proudly. The merging of fashion with media was born during the Trayvon Martin case. A plain simple hoodie was then turned into a political outcry for help during this injustice against an unarmed and innocent black teenager. The way black people present themselves to the outside world is not a trend but an identity of who they are and the battles they deal with.

“The Double Standards of Cultural Appropriation” an article on The Bottom Line written by Morgan Bubman explains why cultural appropriation is unjust. Black people have to constantly deal with the “edgy” and “alternative” trends that the majority population find favorable for only them. When white people borrow from culture they only take the thing they believe are fashion forward or could be of monetary value. This is the concern that many black people face because when they wear these same styles, on them it is responded with only black slurs. Examples of this daily occurrence is Kylie Jenner being praised for her surgically induced lips when black women are vehemently badgered for having naturally plump lips. Not only does the public love Jenner’s lips, she made a hefty profit off of them by creating her own cosmetic line. But yet their was backlash on MAC’s Instagram page for having a black model sport purple lipstick.

Last September, the Daily Show criticized how fashion week had appropriated black culture. Dulce Sloan, a guest on the show, said that when white people appropriate culture they do not get any of the negative effects that has to come with the Fashion and styles they steal. She goes on to say that people like the Kardashians, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift do not “Get pulled over for no reason. Get followed through a store.”

Author of Zeba Blay at Huffington Post believes white women should not be able to wear black hairstyles. Her article “Its a slap in the face when white women wear black hair styles” points out that even though the world knows what is and is not racist they have become unbearable insensitive. To support her claim she uses the fashion magazine Allure to prove her point. In the magazine there is a section that is entitled to create the perfect Afro even if your hair type is straight. Blay believes this was a specific article to white people since the picture tagged to the article is of a woman with curls. Blay then goes on to defend that when black women do straighten their hair or dye it blonde that this is a form of assimilation not appropriation. Black women assimilate to survive since so many are attacked for wearing their natural hair out because is it not seen as professional or classy.

Black fashion has always been a major factor in how black people and the world view themselves.  The black community has always suffered from the ignorance, oppression, and racism of others who saw them as less. With that being said, black people remember their history through appearances first. The issue of black fashion becoming more mainstream is that a community of people become muffled and silenced by the others wanting to be like them but not like them. To be truly black means to experience the hatred the world has for them and wait for everything that is considered yours to be stolen from underneath your feet. To be truly black is to feel numb every time the news reports of another innocent black victim dead at the hands of the police. Being black means being told countless times in a lifetime that the world was made to be against you. Being truly black means to be called “urban”, “hood”, “ghetto”, and “scary”. These attributes may also find their way into other minorities, but they can never truly understand the pain and the hardships. The styles the black communities wear is a message all on its own that says to the world, “I have a history and it will be recognized.”

In no way am I saying that cultures should stick to their own culture since that would be a terrible world. I am saying that if a person does take ideas or use aspects from a culture they should definitely refer back to their cultural influence.  Many celebrities have stolen from different cultures in the past and have gotten away with it countless times. Even though the black community show strong disapproval towards these celebrities’ actions with no apology. Then the media surrounding these famous celebrities increase the exposure of these “trends”. Cultural appropriation happens when a culture, different then the culture a person is in, is worn and is not acknowledge or is demeaning for others outside that community to wear.

The major contributors to the loss off black identity is famous white women and the media. The media is responsible in showing the public what celebrities wear. However, they also set the tone for how the public should respond using catchy words or phrases. Famous white women find inspiration in black fashion from the hairstyles and clothing we wear then incorporating it into their daily lives. Their mistake is not correcting the media on where they got their style sense. When white women say nothing, a culture is silenced because they are allowing this type of injustice to continue. In stead of black culture being credited the white women are accounted instead.

Black fashion in the mainstream media causes cultural appropriation. The best thing about diversity is being surrounded by people and cultures that can be similar and very different from our own. The world is becoming more and more diverse and unfortunately things like cultural appropriation do occur. Cultural appropriation is when a race steals elements from a culture in an opposing race and uses it for financial gain or re-branded ownership. Usually the race being pillaged holds little to no power. During this time, black women and men are embracing their culture in a most positive way. Black fashion is one of the ways the black community speaks to the world without saying anything and will continue to inspire people. Although, this type of fashion is only acceptable when worn by someone not black. For example, in 2015 Zendaya, a famous celebrity teenager, graced the Oscars with her hair styled in faux dreads. Zendaya was then criticized for looking like she smelled of weed. Kylie Jenner also wore faux dreads for a Teen Vogue story and was labeled “edgy”, “beautiful”, and “raw.” These two examples show that even though one of these women are mixed she is still less than the white women. The more black fashion is exposed in the mainstream the more likely it is that the black community will lose black fashion and with it part of their identity.

Black fashion in the mainstream media causes black people to lose their identity. Since cultural appropriation effects how black people are first perceived it is hard for the black community to recognize what their identity is. A big majority of black culture is black fashion. Black fashion was and is still a major approach used by the black community to fight back against oppression and the conformity of society. The black community has to live with knowing that they exist only because of the 246 years slavery existed. They must also learn that after slavery the black community continued to feel pain because of segregation which lasted about 89 years. Through these years the black community has fought wars and forced laws all to make living a little easier for the next generations. Black fashion is what makes black people happy as well as surviving subjugation and racism. This explains why black people are so passionate and interested in incidents regarding cultural appropriation towards their culture. Knowing that black people would become just like everyone else is what pushes this group of people forward to stop this from happening. If the barrier between mainstream “trends” and black fashion was to be removed many black youths would grow up confused at how to define their style and where their sense of style actually originates.

Popular white celebrities and black fashion causes cultural appropriation. These trends in mainstream fashion do not come out of nowhere. Most of the trends in fashion are determined by popular celebrities who are seen by the media.  They are also more likely to set a “trend” if they are white. The Kardashian family is infamous for cultural appropriation since they draw inspiration from black culture and profit from it or rename a fashion in black history. A recent example would be Kim Kardashian’s “boxer braids” show in Teen Vogue’s article “This Hairstyle Is Not Called “Boxer Braids” and Kim Kardashian Didn’t Make It Popular.” The author Britni Danielle writes that “girls have worn cornrows before, or that most of the early 2000s were filled with celebs like Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Ludacris, Bow Wow, and even Justin Timberlake rocking the style” but the reason it received attention “is because white women have finally caught on.”

Popular white female celebrities wearing black fashion causes cultural appropriation which also causes black people to lose their identity in society. White women wearing black fashion does not cause them to be a victim in the negative side effects of being black. Since there is an imbalance in power white women are less likely to be ridiculed or treated unfairly if they wore box braids in the workplace or fashioned an athletic suit on Instagram. This same imbalance in power makes it harder for black women to wear their natural hair at work without “causing a scene” or having offensive demeaning labels attached to them. White women need to understand that society holds them on a higher pedestal than minorities. For this reason, they should be more aware of the message they are putting out into the world to work together to bring growth instead of tearing women apart.

As said previously, black people lose their ‘blackness’ when black fashion is worn by someone more socially acceptable. Contrary to this belief, black people cannot lose their blackness because there are many other factors that make them black. In addition, the cycle of black fashion trends is more beneficial to black people as well as the world. Darcel Rockett’s article “’How to Slay’: Black fashion has made its mark on world culture” in the Chicago Tribune interviewed fashion expert, Constance C.R. White, who had this to say “This moment is very individualistic — it’s very much about expressing your personality, it’s a mashup and melding of different times. It’s more acceptable than ever, and there’s a hundred trends happening at once. We haven’t seen that in fashion — ever.” What White is trying to say is that fashion is about expressing individuality by choosing from the many time periods of fashion while it is still socially acceptable.

When someone more socially acceptable wear trends that are from black fashion it is not cultural appropriation it is cultural appreciation. When people style their hair in dreadlocks or wear earrings with their name on them it is to show that people who are not black can show how much they like the culture. White people capitalize on black fashion because they understand that black people are not appealing towards society, so it becomes their responsibility. When different people come together and wear black fashion they are essentially expanding and spreading black culture.

It should also be addressed that this argument is based off of black privilege. In John Blake’s article “It’s time to talk about ‘black privilege’” on CNN it writes that “white commentators describe how blackness has become such a “tremendous asset” that some whites are now trying to “pass” as black.” This means that white people believe it a societal necessity to wear clothes influenced by black people and enhanced body parts to be accepted. This may be the reason why people like the Kardashians feel comfortable getting plastic surgery but uncomfortable telling the world the reason why.

Black fashion is worn by everyone so by default black culture becomes a natural trendsetter. As soon as society begins to wear the hairstyles and clothing of black people they immediately know it is time to find something else to standout. This pattern is the reason why most trends are born, why some trends go out of style, and why some become revamped. As a result of this phenomena, black people influence the world only by the way they look. If anything, this should be seen as a privilege to black people since not many cultures can say the same. Black fashion has not always been a source of happiness for the black community. In many ways black fashion can hold black people back since it reinforces that black people are “dirty and poor criminals with no intelligence” just by attire. However, this way of thinking is curbed when everyone starts to dress in mainstream black fashion trends. Know people are targeted equally since they are all dressed the same. This also allows for black people to be discreet since society dresses like them and it is harder to be noticed if everyone is following the same trends.


Research – ChandlerBing

A Quest for Change

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. encapsulates the fundamentals of education. “The function of education is to teach one to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Learning is a complex process in which the learner constantly changes their internal understanding of how the world around them functions. The learner, most of the time, is unable to come to conclusions on their own and they need guidance from an effective instructor. In a standardized testing era; the system impedes on students’ ability to learn new information and apply it correctly in their lives. The education system stamps on the concept of seeing the world in anything, other than black and white. When dealing with the possibilities of areas in interests, our learning system blurs out artistic or social intelligences, and focuses on socializing through the subjects of mathematics, literature and the sciences. Teachers and administrators are not to blame for this problem. Students are deprived of humanity; in aspect, everyone is seen as a number. The system doesn’t care about how the students got the score, and the effort it took to get there. All that they look at is the number they stand for. The standardized test movement has corrupted the very nature of education and learning by forcing educators to focus on test-taking skills, such as strict memorization, rather than important concepts; the overall desire to want to learn and understand the subject diminishes. These assessments thwart educational growth because their questions are generalized; they instill fear of failure in students; and they hinder efforts by teachers to improve their pedagogical methods. There must be a more effective system whose primary focus is to further grow the intelligences of the youth and to implement a new evaluation method that measures student improvement throughout their educational career.

To fully understand the issue at hand, one must know what it means to be an effective educator. To be an effective teacher, an educator must be open-minded, positive, organized, and resilient. A student that has an ineffective teacher for one year can set the student back up to three years. Traditional teaching styles have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in their curricula. The belief that all students learn at the same pace is simply not true. Each individual student has their own needs and understandings. Some students can understand the material with no problem, others need a push to get their gears turning. There are many different types of students that shine through diverse aspects of learning. For example, a student may understand a chapter of Pre-Calculus simply by reading through their textbook’s chapter. However, their peer may attain the material stronger with a visual, or hands-on approach. Each student has different past experiences that have molded how they learn, therefore, educators must throw away the one-size model and adapt to their student’s needs.

Teachers need to challenge the suppositions of their students for them to develop free thinking. In a middle school classroom, a teacher asked students to read a poem and interpret the first two lines of the poem. The first student gave her answer, but the teacher told her that was not what the author meant. When a second student answered, the teacher reminded her that she was only supposed to interpret the first two lines. When the teacher asked if anyone in the class had other ideas, not one raised their hands. This teacher conveyed to the students that there is one answer and one answer only. And only she knew the correct answer. This learning style hinders creativity, and forces students to think in a black and white matter. After the first two students were told they were wrong, the task became to find out what the instructor thought of the poem, ultimately restricting free thinking.

In a more effective environment, a 9th grade teacher asked his students to evaluate the effects of temperature and muscle movement. The students were given buckets of ice water, gauges to measure finger grip strength, and other various items to help them in their experiments. The teacher then asked a few guiding questions and let the students begin. The teacher walked around the class asking different questions to each group depending on the activities that were being performed. Even when the students were correct in their findings, the teacher challenged these suppositions and asked them to elaborate on how they got to their conclusions. The groups shared their findings with the rest of the class and some students requested to come back later that day and complete their experiments (Brooks). This teacher provided guidance to the students, never giving them the answers and never telling them that they were wrong. These methods used provided the students with a deeper understanding of the material. The student’s interests were high which led them to be more engaged in the lesson and even wanting to return to their experiments at a different time.

The typical American classroom is set up for the teacher to do all the talking. A classroom is no longer revolved around learning and understanding. Moreover, students are restricted to simple memorization, left with no room for creativity or pleasure. Educators jettison information to students and expect them to memorize key points in the lecture. The lectures are almost always in-line with the textbook used for that class. In these classrooms, students learn only one view to complex issues, inhibiting students to view the issue from all aspects of the spectrum. For example, Christopher Columbus is often taught as a respected explorer in search for a new world. The idea that Columbus enslaved thousands of Natives and eradicated most of them by bringing new diseases over, is rarely taught in the classroom (Simmons). Educators must provide students with broad concepts to ponder so that they pose their own questions.

Students must take charge in their own learning. When an instructor stands in front of the classroom and lectures for the whole class period, they are essentially giving students the answers without a clear meaning. Allowing the students to interact with one another provides an effective route to the lead objective. As previously stated, all students bring their own experiences with them to the classroom. In one classroom, students were put in groups of five or six to discuss artifacts from Egypt. As the students examined the artifact, they discussed the possibilities of the different functions these objects may possess. The students were understanding the main function of the object because they were all bringing their past experiences to the light. Essentially, these students were teaching each other, working together toward a common goal.

Evaluation of student learning is difficult to measure through pen-and-paper assessments. Some students become anxious during a high-stakes test, fearing that they will fail. On the other hand, simple interaction with a student in the classroom setting is a more effective way to measure what the student understands about the lesson. In the state of New Jersey, students that graduate in the year 2021 and beyond must achieve passing scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) English 10 and Algebra portions to graduate (NJDOE). The teachers must prepare students for these exams, and by doing so they align their curriculum with concepts most likely to appear on the assessments. The students are just memorizing key concepts to increase their test taking skills.

Traditional teaching styles are a method of the past and have proved to be ineffective. Educators must shift their teaching methods to a more effective standard. Students should be encouraged to deeply understand the material instead of memorizing terms. This allows students to apply learned concepts in the classroom to their everyday lives. Their backgrounds form who they are as a learner and educators need to adapt their curriculum to challenge student supposition and promote creativity along with free thinking. As an educator, it is their job to guide them to the answer. A third-grade student wrote to his teacher, “You are like the North Star for the class. You don’t tell us where to go, but you help us find our way (Brooks).”

Standardized testing in the United States predates the Civil War in 1861. Once a system that evaluated student intelligence, has transformed into a politically-driven method of evaluating teachers and schools which results in a plethora of rewards and punishments based on test results (Alcocer). States determine whether a school is fulfilling the responsibility of effective teaching or not by the results of generalized pen-and-paper tests in which all students are expected to complete, regardless of their learning capabilities. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, mandates that schools measure and account for the performance of their students. The law also mandates schools to administer standardized tests and report the results to the state. Based on the test results, harsh sanctions are put in place for those school districts that do not meet the “adequate yearly progress,” or AYP; a numerical value that defines student performance (Klein).

Standardized assessments are created from an outside source other than the school that is administering them (Kohn). Many educators and experts work tirelessly to develop these assessments, but what they do not understand is that each student has their own method of learning. Test developers do not witness the learning process of an individual in a classroom. So how can they truly be aware of how each student learns? They cannot. Teachers interact with students every single day, and they know and understand what methods positively impact their students.

Standardized means all students in the state must take the same assessment. The questions do not evaluate the skills of the students simply because the questions are vague (ConnectUS). To effectively learn, the mind must be challenged. Basic skills questions do not appropriately measure a student’s learning. When developing these tests, an important factor is not considered; each student learns at a different pace. Every brain is different from the next, it absorbs information differently for everyone. Different students implement their own learning method that individually caters to them. In the current classroom model, all students learn the same thing at the same pace. If one student falls behind, they must catch up because the rest of the class is moving on with the curriculum. While the rest of the class moves on, this child still does not understand the material but is required to move through the course. This overwhelming environment and panic negatively impacts the learning community.

Another critique on standardized testing, emphasizes the belief that tests are by procedure for the sole purpose of holding schools and teachers accountable for their student’s performance. Teachers abandon their original curriculum to prepare for the high-stake test. The school environment is shifting their main focus on their employees, not the learning rate of their students. Spending more time on test related subjects, affects the time spent on other creative concentrations like social studies and the arts (Simmons). Some school districts give their students assessments regarding the more creative subjects, although not a common practice. The questions are usually compiled with vague facts and definitions. As Kohn stated, “[Standardized tests] aren’t designed to tell who has learned to think like a scientist or a historian; they’re designed to tell who can recite the four stages of mitosis or the four freedoms mentioned by Franklin Roosevelt.” In other words, they damage the true intention of education by limiting creativity and refraining from teaching important life skills.

Subsequently, the fact that these tests are timed, raises questions about whether these assessments accurately reflect the learning of the students. It does not matter to the tests if this student excels in the classroom, standardized tests require memorization skills. Does this mean this student unintelligible? Absolutely not; there is a significant difference between being smart and knowing a lot of stuff. One student could have a photographic memory and score high on the exam, but does not fully understand the concepts she was taught. On the other hand, a student might perform exceptionally on class projects/assignments, and receive a low score on the exam. Yet, the system expects students to recall all the information they have learned over the year and apply this loose knowledge with a time limit involved. The stress of standardized testing falls upon the student as they fear they will not pass. Furthermore, no student should take a high-stakes test in an anxious state. The results of a test, where a student “blanks” because of test anxiety, do not reflect the student’s true performance; thus, creating a blurred snapshot of that students’ academic achievements.

Because of the punishments and rewards that come with the accountability program, teachers become heavily focused on improving their students test scores. Teachers spend countless hours obsessing over the content of the tests; further distracting from other subject areas. Any student will admit, their teacher has told them for multiple choice questions, “there are four choices that all may seem to be the right answer, but only one is the true answer.” “Don’t be too creative. Don’t think too hard. Only give them what they want. Pace yourself (Simmons).” These phrases are becoming too frequent and they hinder the creativity and critical thinking necessary for effective learning. Creative children are stumped when they see the generalized questions on the assessments. It teaches them that there is only one viable answer and there is no room for creativity. Educator Bill Ayers evaluates standardized testing, “Standardized tests can’t measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure, and count are isolated skills, specific facts and functions, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning.” High-stakes exams do not value the critical skills needed to be successful in the world. Promoting creativity allows people to pose thought provoking questions to enhance their knowledge of the world. Perhaps, instead of teaching key terms and definitions, an educator should teach students how to make rightful decisions on their own. These standards stray far from the primary purpose of the educational platform.

These tests are administered to thousands of students. It is unlikely that every single student can be present on test day. Under these circumstances, it is counterintuitive to believe that a child can demonstrate their full capabilities of what they have learned. A student in South Carolina responded to standardized tests by saying, “All they care about is the test; they don’t care if we learn anything (Simmons).” Learning success should be valued more than success on tests.

A handful of students do not show much concern for the tests and do not fully understand the consequences. Students fill out the bubbles on the exam sheet so that they form a picture, thus getting the answers marked incorrect. These students are then placed in a low-level class for the following years of their educational career. Apparently, results from a single exam are enough evidence to show the full capabilities of students, even when they lack care for the assessments (Kohn). The educational future of children relies heavily on these exams. If they do not perform adequately, they will be placed in remedial classes. The nature of this situation causes an uneasy feeling; misplacing these students who do not belong in the slower paced classes, can deter them from their route of success.

Unfortunately, standardized testing is the easiest form of holding teachers accountable for their students. Test results are published in newspapers, and even real estate listings provide the most recent test scores. Valuing these numerical values of knowledge has become the norm in the US. It is agreed that teachers should absolutely be held accountable, but exams that measure the intelligence in one day just seem ineffective. With advancements in technology today, it is possible to implement a method of measuring what students learn at the same time, hold educators accountable for their teaching. Each student learns in different ways; effective learning occurs when educators cater to individual students rather than the class in whole. A large database can be created with individual portfolios for each student. This way, educators can clearly see how a student has performed academically throughout their educational career. This method values each student as one individual instead of the entire student body which, in return, allows teachers to adapt to each child. The improvement over the course of one year would be more valuable to educators and school districts rather than the results from a test only given twice a year. With this idea, the journey of learning proves to be more important than the end results. The instructor can create projects and in-class assignments to highlight creativity and free thinking.

Politics and money are much too involved in education today. By using high-stakes testing to hold teachers accountable for their students, and to reward and punish them based on test results, the politically-motivated system distracts educators from teaching creative subjects that students may be interested in. Students who excel, use past experiences to critically view the world surrounding them. Standardized testing interrupts that creativity. This current system must be abandoned before another student gets left behind by the “test-prep” teaching model mandated by No Child Left Behind.

Works Cited

10 Big Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardized Testing. Connect US Fund. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017

Alcocer, Paulina. “History of Standardized Testing in the United States.” National Education Association. Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Brooks, Martin. Brooks, Jacqueline. “The Courage to Be Constructivist.” The Constructivist Classroom. vol. 57, no. 3, 1999, pp. 18-24. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

Brooks, Martin, and Jacqueline Brooks. In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms. Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1993.

Herman, Joan L., and Shari Golan. “Effects of Standardized Testing on Teachers and Learning–Another Look.” (1990).

Klein, Alyson. “No Child Left Behind: An Overview.Education Week. Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2015. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Kohn, Alfie. The case against standardized testing: Raising the scores, ruining the schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000.

New Jersey State NJ Department of Education.

Simmons, Nicola. “(De)grading the Standardized Test: Can Standardized Testing Evaluate Schools?” Education Canada. vol. 44, no. 3, 2004. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Research Paper – rainbow987

In a society where mental illness is generally not well understood or accepted, negative stigmas are highly present in daily life for many people. Judgment is passed out like candy on Halloween regarding many different mental disorders, such as depression. In many ways, society blames a person for mental illness. Many people do not recognize disorders, like depression or anxiety, as legitimate illnesses. For example, health care insurance options for mental illness is extremely limited compared to the coverage offered for physical illness, which is discussed in detail by Dr. David Susman, in his article entitled “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment For Mental Illness.” He explains that legislation was recently passed by the US Congress to address and correct these concerns, but that many details still need to be fine-tuned. In addition, those who suffer from symptoms of the sort often do not seek any treatment due to lack of resources or a fear of being judged by others. As reported by Fox News in an article entitled “More Than Half of US Adults With Mental Illness Don’t Get Needed Care,” approximately six out of ten young people suffering from major depression do not seek treatment in their life. Without proper treatment, many mental illnesses will develop and worsen over time. The negative stigmas surrounding depression directly impact the quality of life for those dealing with the illness. In many ways, these stigmas cause symptoms of the disorder to develop and intensify.

For many people, it is common vocabulary to refer to someone or something as crazy. The word is used in a variety of settings and scenarios. For example, if a person thought that he was going to score badly on an assessment but actually received a high grade, he may react by saying “That’s crazy!” If an upstanding member of society was convicted of a felony unexpectedly, people would respond similarly. “Crazy” can have many different meanings. Most often, it implies a sense of surprise or alarm.

Sometimes, the word can be used in a derogatory way. Without being politically correct, those with mental illnesses such as depression are often labeled in such a way as to be called crazy. People who are considered crazy are most often different than the mainstream of society. Some are outcasts and some display abnormal behaviors. However, abnormal is subjective. One person’s idea of abnormal could be entirely different than another’s. Abnormality could even be based on cultural differences. For example, in some cultures, it is abnormal for a person to walk inside a house without taking off his or her shoes. It is common to refer to abnormal behavior as crazy. However, different does not equal crazy. Therefore, abnormality does not equal craziness. This definition also explains why it is inaccurate to refer to someone with a mental illness as crazy. However, as stated in “Stigma Towards Mental Illness: A Concept Analysis Using Postpartum Depression as an Exemplar,” mental illness stigma is a serious issue in all cultures and ethnicities.

There are many negative stigmas regarding mental illnesses such as depression. Negative stigmatization of mental illness can be a theoretical death sentence for the self-esteem and confidence of an individual. By spreading a stereotype such as craziness in regards to illness, the problem itself escalates further.  For example, discrimination against those suffering from mental illness prompts many people to not seek proper treatment. The fear of being judged by others inhibits their psychological well-being as a whole. People often do not seek treatment for serious mental health concerns due to the fear of being judged or accused of having self-inflicted their issues. As stated in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in an article entitled “Mental Illness Stigma and Care Seeking,” fifty to sixty percent of people who would benefit from mental health treatment do not seek or receive it. People who suffer from these types of illnesses have to not only deal with the symptoms of the disorder, but they also have to deal with the struggles presented in society. Michael W. O’Hara explains in his article “The Nature of Postpartum Depressive Disorders,” that depression can have a significant effect on a person’s self-esteem. Therefore, the social stigma only worsens these feelings in an individual. They may face discrimination in the workplace or possible judgment in social environments. This negativity is created by the many negative stigmas that revolve around mental illness, and it does nothing but create false perceptions of the disease.

In addition, since many people with mental illness are assigned blame for their feelings, it may lead them to assign blame onto themselves as well. However, such thoughts are backwards and entirely counterintuitive. To be frank, the idea of depression as a whole makes people uncomfortable because it is not well understood. In response to this uneasiness, society attempts to “justify” depressive feelings on the basis of them being insincere. Depression is not brought upon willingly or intentionally by any person, so it is counterintuitive that people feel the need to assign blame for the disorder.

Labeling someone as crazy for an illness is not productive in any way, shape, or form. Negative stigmas revolve around these types of illnesses, which do nothing but worsen the lives of those who suffer from them and their families. It is important that the prejudice and complete discrimination of those suffering from a mental illness stops. Mental illness, specifically depression, does not have cause for blame in a person. Assigning blame to a mental illness such as depression as a method of reasoning does nothing but worsen possible symptoms and negative feelings that one may be experiencing. The lack of knowledge that many have of the illness causes a stigma that those with depression are “crazy” and looking for attention. However, such thoughts are demented and ignorant. The idea of depression as a whole often makes people squirm because it is not well understood. The stigmas related to the illness are so great that many people feel uncomfortable even talking about them. Therefore, minimal progress has been made to broaden people’s knowledge of mental illness. Instead, in response to this uneasiness, society attempts to “justify” depressive feelings on the basis of them being insincere. Depression is not desired by any person, so it is counterintuitive that people feel the need to assign blame for the disorder. Therefore, assigning blame for depression does nothing but worsen heavily stigmatized thoughts on the disorder as a whole. It is the hope that over time, society will become more accepting of mental illness and all that it entails. Society needs to realize that being different does not make someone less of a person. Discrimination and prejudice related to the topic needs to end.

Negative stigmas can lead to negative, hurtful labels, and it can lead to symptoms of loneliness and distress. The common term of calling someone crazy if they are different in any way plays an extremely significant role in the field of mental illness. Calling someone crazy is an ignorant way of looking for causation. Since mental illnesses such as depression are not well understood, it makes people uneasy. Therefore, calling someone crazy is an implication that blame has been assigned. It does not make sense that a serious illness that is most often caused by traumatic events or biological chemical changes can be one’s “fault” for having. People are not blamed for illnesses such as cancer or diabetes, so it is unfair that others are blamed for having a mental illness of any kind. The lack of knowledge that many have of the illness causes a stigma that those with depression are “crazy” and looking for attention. Unfortunately, these ignorant thoughts are extremely prevalent in daily life for those struggling with mental illness, and they can prove troubling in a variety of ways over the span of a person’s life.

According to stereotypes and how mental illness has been portrayed throughout history in media, those suffering from a mental health issue are “crazy” or “insane.” The media’s depiction of a “crazy” person often stems from severely abnormal behaviors. The media is a direct factor as to why some people do not respect people dealing with mental illness, which is further explained in Patrick Corrigan’s “On the Stigma of Mental Illness: Practical Strategies for Research and Social Change.” The person who sits by themselves on the subway, mumbling under their breath at no one is “crazy.” Imagine this person, who is very alert and aware of everything going on around him. His eyes are very wide and he appears to be in a great amount of distress. Physically, he looks to be sweating profusely, and he is tapping his foot very quickly. He continues to mumble and scan his eyes around the subway car. His talking begins to get louder and turns into a shout as he yells at no one. In reaction, the surrounding passengers sense that he is extremely angered and frightened. To them, the man appears to be the exact definition of “crazy.” Upon further psychological inspection, it could be assumed that the man is suffering from delusions and hallucinations. He may have schizophrenia, which is believed to be caused by a mixture of genetics, brain chemistry, and environment. Many of these factors are uncontrollable, and therefore, the man could not control the onset of his illness. The passengers on the subway are judgmental and think that the man is causing an unnecessary scene. However, the man is ill and cannot be blamed for “looking for attention” or “making up” his symptoms, as these thoughts are untrue.

Now imagine Jane, who is a young woman also sitting on the subway car. She was recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder. However, she is struggling to accept to her diagnosis. While witnessing the events transpose on the subway with the man, she can clearly see the hurtful judgment on the faces of the other passengers. No one seems to be concerned for his well-being. Everyone tries to keep their distance and avoid eye contact. This behavior angers Jane. She can sense the cruel thoughts that all of the witnesses have regarding the man. They all think that he is “crazy.” No one acknowledged his behavior as a legitimate mental illness or health risk. Jane compares this man to herself. She does not want to be labeled as “crazy” for her mental illness, so she does everything that she can to keep it a secret, even from her loved ones. She stops receiving treatment and attempts to ignore her symptoms. However, these actions cause Jane to struggle with her emotions and hinders her well-being greatly. Her fear of being stigmatized and judged indirectly caused her symptoms of depression to increase.

There are many reasons why a person may not receive treatment for a mental illness. Among these are the fear of being judged and feeling as though they are a failure if they seek treatment. Social constructs in our society cause self-doubt when a person is debating seeking help. Factors other than the person’s well-being often overpowers their health, which should be most important. Fox News documented that approximately 56% of people fail to receive treatment for major depression, for a variety of reasons. However, one of the most influential reasons as to why a person would avoid seeking treatment stems from fear of judgment by others, including family members, close friends, and co-workers. The pressure that many feel to be “perfect” causes many to deny symptoms of mental illness, which can lead to destructive and degenerative behavior. If the negative stigma regarding mental illness did not exist, or even if it was not as severe as it actually is, many more people would seek treatment for mental health issues. In turn, by receiving proper care, the quality of life for those suffering from mental illness would increase dramatically. For many, treatment would help to reduce symptoms and daily struggles caused by the issue.

As a society, we treat mental illness as a taboo topic. It is not well understood and therefore often misunderstood. There are many negative stigmas surrounding the idea of mental health issues as a whole. Many do not even acknowledge disorders such as depression and anxiety as legitimate illnesses. In addition, those who suffer from mental illnesses are often falsely labeled with hateful and cruel words such as “crazy” or “unstable.” If someone suffers from a mental health issue, society will often blame the person. If someone is depressed, he is causing it himself. If someone is anxious, she is looking for attention. However, these stigmas and stereotypes are spread by ignorance and an overall lack of understanding of mental health. They can cause severe damage to an individual’s well-being. Stigmas cast mental illness in a very dark shadow, which causes people to deny many if not all of their symptoms. Over time, the denial of symptoms due to fear of judgment can eventually lead to a decline in mental health when a person has an illness. Negative stigmas regarding mental health directly impacts a person’s management of an illness. These stigmas indirectly cause symptoms to intensify and affect people’s lives negatively. Not everyone acknowledges that the negative ideas surrounding depression are highly exaggerated and often fabricated. Some people question the legitimacy of the disorder, arguing that it is not real for a variety of reasons.

Many people agree with the argument, which is that depression is not a legitimate illness. This argument proposes that depression is exaggerated sadness and those who say that they have the disorder are attention-seeking. In addition, proponents for a similar argument say that although the symptoms of depression are real, depression itself is not an illness. Dr. Greg Henriques argued this point in an article entitled “Anxiety and Depression Are Symptoms, Not Diseases,” posted by Psychology Today. He states that anxiety and depression are only symptoms of a greater illness, but that they are not diseases in themselves. This statement degrades the legitimacy of an illness that so many suffer from without suffering from another illness.

For many, it is difficult to distinguish between those who are exaggerating emotions for the purpose of gaining sympathy and attention from those who are genuinely suffering from chronic negative emotions, which is depression. Therefore, it is a common misconception to believe that those who are chronically depressed are actually just looking for attention.

The idea that depression is not an actual illness is entirely invalid. There is an ample amount of scientific evidence proving that the brain imaging of a person with depression looks different than a person without depression. There is a neurological factor that contributes to depression that cannot be “faked.” Therefore, it is not true that depression is just people exaggerating and seeking attention. However, people with depression have a physical chemical imbalance that impacts their mood, as stated in the article “Hormonal Changes in the Postpartum and Implications for Postpartum Depression.” The information in this article is relevant to major depressive disorder even though it discusses postpartum depression, as the symptoms of both disorders are extremely similar. It is true that there are people who exaggerate their emotions for the purpose of gathering sympathy and attention from others. This type of person does not necessarily have depression. Depression is a legitimate mental illness that affects many people of all ages, races, and genders.

Many people suffering from depression are discredited in a variety of ways. People do not understand how they feel. People disrespect the idea of the disease. Therefore, many sufferers refuse to acknowledge their illness or seek treatment. This negative perspective can lead to a worsening of the illness. With aid from this mindset, many negative stigmas about mental illness, specifically depression, have developed.  These negative stigmas imply that it is not acceptable to have a mental illness. According to them, people with mental illnesses are “crazy” or “insane.” The negative thoughts surrounding depression and other mental illnesses lead to people not seeking treatment out of fear of being judged. In turn, the symptoms of mental illness may get worse. Therefore, negative stigmas regarding depression lead to a worsening of overall symptoms of the illness.

A common worry that many people suffering from depression have is that people are not going to believe them. Unfortunately, there is a stigma in place that many believe to be accurate, which is that depression is not a real illness. However, depression is a disease that can be proven neurologically through brain imaging. Depressed people are not looking for attention. Depression needs to recognized for what it is, a legitimate disorder.

In conclusion, it is common in our society to discredit those individuals suffering from depression, while also discrediting the illness itself as a whole. However, this belief is inaccurate. There are major differences between a person that exaggerates in an attempt to gather sympathy and a person that has depression. Depression is caused by a combination of environmental factors and chemical imbalances. The chronic negative emotions and feelings of worthlessness that a person experiences while dealing with depression are debilitating. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80% of Americans over the age of 12 experienced depression in a two-week time period. 27% of these people faced significant difficulties in their work and home environments. Based on this information, it is obvious that the experience of depression is genuine. The illness is just as “real” as cancer or diabetes. Disrespecting a person based on their mental health is common in today’s world, but it is not justified in any way. In turn, it is important that our society begins to understand and respect those with depression. In the words of Barbara Hocking in her article entitled “Reducing Mental Illness Stigma and Discrimination – Everybody’s Business,” the community needs to improve upon their “mental health literacy.” In order to make progressive steps towards a better society, we must be accepting, understanding, and knowledgeable of the symptoms surrounding depression, as we are with all other illnesses, regardless of whether or not we experience those symptoms ourselves.

Cooper, Amy, et al. “Mental Illness Stigma and Care Seeking .” Ovid.

Corrigan, P. W., Kleinlein, P. (Ed.). (2005). On the stigma of mental illness: Practical strategies for       research and social change.“

Hendrick, Victoria, et al. “Hormonal Changes in the Postpartum and Implications for Postpartum Depression.” Psychosomatics, Elsevier, 29 Apr. 2011,

Henriques, Gregg. “Anxiety and Depression Are Symptoms, Not Diseases.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 26 Mar. 2016,

Hocking, Barbara. “Reducing Mental Illness Stigma and Discrimination — Everybody’s Business.” MJA.

“More than Half of US Adults with Mental Illness Don’t Get Needed Care.” Fox News, FOX News Network,

O’Hara, Michael W. “Postpartum Depression and Child Development.” Google Books,

Pinto-Foltz, Melissa D., and M. Cynthia Logsdon. “Stigma Towards Mental Illness: A Concept Analysis Using Postpartum Depression as an Exemplar.” Taylor & Francis,

Pratt, Laura A., and Debra J. Brody. “National Center for Health Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 Jan. 2010.

Susman, David. “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treated For Mental Illness .”

Research- phillygirl

Abuse in Foster Homes

Children are to be put into foster care so that they can get away from home abuse, not so they can move closer towards it. Children are usually placed in foster care when their own parents struggle to overcome an addiction to alcohol, drugs, illness, financial hardship or other difficulties. However, the widespread of intensive abuse in foster homes occurs so frequently and these children have no way out. According to Foster Care Statistics, there are 427,910 children that are in child care in the United States. Children suffer from physical, mental, and emotional pain with being under foster care units. The greater part of these kids has been the casualties of rehashed mistreated and delayed disregard and have not encountered a supporting, stable condition during the early years of life. The negative effect is that these children are immune to commit criminal behavior or become suicidal. Depression and mental abuse can contribute to long term stations of posttraumatic stress disorder. Like the feeling of being alone and unloved. Children in foster care experience multiple forms of abuse, for example, having multiple placement, neglect, and physical abuse for all that, these children should not have to be put through a system that is not functioning the way it should.

The mental abuse of children may be the most damaging form of maltreatment. Most children are switched from one foster home to the next. Noting that not all foster homes are abusive, but some families create lifetime bonds. This causes one to have temperamental beliefs of trust. Trust is hard to gain, but easy to lose. A child is expecting to be placed somewhere they will be comfortable, loved, and acknowledged. Those children who were taken from their parents, have to struggle with keeping attachment with their biological parent and gaining the attachment to their foster parent.  Not only could it be insulting, but it is also mental abuse. The mental feelings that occur are more of feelings that they are not loved or they have only themselves. According to Foster Care Statistics studies for 2015, their research shows that 45% of foster children are White, 24% is African-American, and 20% are Hispanic. In each foster home they are transferred to, the kids experience a tremendous amount of different forms of abuse in each home or if not yet the same. The size of the household can change as well; they can be transferred to a home with a few kids or to a huge home with tons of kids. In some cases, children are no longer allowed to be under custody of their biological parents for safety reasons. If the system or the foster parents feel the need to keep them away, they’ll move the children around from one house to another. It’s especially harder for kids who already grew an attachment to their parents

Neglect in foster homes have a high percentage rate of children who all experience some form of abuse. Neglect is the failure to care for properly. This can cause developmental issues for the child. According to an article on healthcare.uiowa, “ The more changes in caregivers young children in foster care experience the more likely they are to exhibit oppositional behavior, crying, and clinging (Gean, Gillmore, & Dowler, 1985). These behavioral and emotional difficulties can lead to further disruptions in care as children’s behavioral and emotional difficulties are one of the major reasons for disruption of a foster care placement.” More prominent quantities of youthful kids with complicated, genuine physical wellbeing, mental health, or formative issues are entering child care during the early years when brain development is generally dynamic. There are changes in the children that they develop after traumatizing abuse. Kids eating habits will change, socialism, moods, sleeping habits, and so many more little things that can affect almost everything. Also, being a foster child to a family that has biological kids can be dreadful as well. Sometimes the foster child will get treated less than what they are. Even the biological family members will even bully or make them feel as if they are not wanted. Name calling, taking away items, being mean, and even telling them that they mean nothing is a form of neglect. The state of being alone is neglect. This makes them not trust anybody or encounter some friends. All they are expecting is to be loved, nurtured, and treated the same. In reality, neglect can be any type of form that can cause one to feel left out or alone.

Physically abused children are one of the biggest issues facing America today. Physical abuse occurs commonly then all. Things to be considered physically abusive is starving them, beating them, make them sleep with no bed, chaining them to objects for what they consider “bad” behavior, manipulating them, and so much more. This teaches them that violence is accepted in society when things don’t go their way. Physical abuse can have created experienced criminals. Basically, an abuser teaches them that hurting another person in anyway or form is acceptable. In adolescent years it’s easier to teach because they are gullible to everything. Also, sexual abuse can also be a form of physical abuse. According to a lifting the, there was a case in Missouri where “a 1981 study found that 57 percent of the sample children were placed in foster care settings that put them “at the very least at a high risk of abuse or neglect.” Molesting, raping, or even telling them to perform an act can be penetrating to the mind and body. This lowers their self-esteem and confidence levels. If the abuse is so serious, it can eat the body. Meaning they can be killed accidently or purposely. In most times, it is considered purposeful. Even siblings will beat on one another. Considering what someone does; they were taught to do that. In society, people don’t realize that kids pick up on everything. Some children hide the fact that they are being abused, because they are scared that if they tell they’ll serve consequences. More so, that would be considered fear. Being physically abused causes fear and low self-esteem. Some of these foster parents are not equipped enough to take care of children. Even family members can be a child foster parent, not necessarily a person that they don’t know.

Children should not have to be put through a system that does not function as well as it should, especially when they experience multiple forms of abuse like having multiple placement, neglect, and physical abuse. Foster care is not always necessarily the best choice. Some foster parents can be as intimidating and dangerous as a child’s biological parents. The effects that these situations leave on the kids can be life threatening. Especially at young ages, because some are forced to be away from their families. Young children are supposed to be nurtured, supported, and living in stable conditions under foster care help. However, that is not always the case, some kids are bullied, abused, and traumatized. What they see and what they are taught can play a significant part in how they are when they are grown up. They could be helpless criminals in the making, or even they’ll think that the way to discipline children. The goal is to give them the treatment that they deserve to have a better future.

There are kids who are suffering deeply due to the abuse they experience within foster homes. Even after leaving foster homes, children may struggle with a lot of things in their life because of what they’ve gone through in foster homes. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, children suffer from psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences after being under these foster care units. Because of the abuse a child has faced while living in foster care, that abuse may play a huge role in a child’s future. Especially if they’re at a young age. Usually as they get older, they might start to form insecure attachments or may struggle with emotional development later in life also. Children are struggling and failing to be successful because they lack the support and connection that comes from a family.

Child abuse and neglect can have a multitude of long term effects on psychological health. There was evidence that shown how foster care decreases the risk for physical harm and substance-abusing parents. However, nothing ever shows the effects of children being abused while in the care of foster homes. Young children placed in foster care homes at young ages has a significantly elevated risk for mental health and psychological problems. According to, “Physical consequences, such as damage to a child’s growing brain, can have psychological implications, such as cognitive delays or emotional difficulties.” Alternations as such in the brain maturation have long term consequences for cognitive, language, and academic abilities. The emotional effects that comes from abuse a child experiences changes into lifelong psychological consequences for cognitive, language, and academic abilities.

Antisocial behavior and physical aggression are among the most consistently reported childhood outcomes of physical child abuse and neglect. The consequences of abusive range from mild to very violent behaviors. Young children usually exhibit oppositional behaviors such as crying or clinging which leads to further disruptions in care. The child’s behavioral issues causes the child to be replaced into a different foster unit, and this causes the child to become distraught and to have similar disruptions later in their life. According to, “more than half of youth reported for maltreatment are at risk for an emotional or behavioral problem.” Children who experience child abuse and neglect appears more likely to have difficulties during adolescence, abusive behavior, and juvenile misbehavior and adult criminality.

The consequences of neglectful behavior can be especially severe and powerful in early stages of child development affecting the neglected child’s expectations of adult availability, problem solving, social relationships, and the ability to cope with new or stressful situations. Consequences of child abuse in foster care includes the lack of development of stable attachments. According to, “The immediate emotional effects of abuse and neglect—isolation, fear, and an inability to trust—can translate into lifelong societal consequences, including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties.” Children who experience poor attachments in foster homes are at risk for diminished self esteem and usually view themselves more negatively than non maltreatment children.

Children struggle and fail to be successful because they lack the support and connection that comes from a family. Even with children being removed from the care of an abusive or substance-abusing parent. It is still difficult for a child to be removed from their primary caregiver. However, children still expects to be placed somewhere they will be comfortable, loved, and acknowledged. Instead, children are taken away from their biological parents to be placed into an even harmful environment where they are abused and left to deal with psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences even after leaving foster care. That is abuse.

The foster care system is a system in which a child (under the age of 18) whose biological parents have abandoned them, or they simply cannot take care of them due to reasons like a financial burden. The child is then placed into private homes, wards, or group homes and when placed in homes with a family who are their “foster parents” that family then sometimes adopts them. Adoption is a complex process and so much goes into trying to get guardianship of a child. While in foster homes, their safety is supposed to be number one, and they’re always in the safest positions. Some children sadly get abused by their foster parents, which then makes these homes unsafe.

In my essay I have come across articles that try to rebut my opinion on the harm of children in foster homes, saying that foster care decreases the risk of physical harm. In an article written by Richard Wexler, on chronicles of, he talks about a story where 2 children were starved by their foster parents and once they notified their caseworkers, it was overlooked even though they physically showed what was happening. Case workers have a huge load of work; therefore, they aren’t able to take on every case which then makes these homes unsafe since nothing is ever done. In terms of the foster care system, it was put in place to ensure the safety of children and to keep them comfortable, but in simpler terms to ensure the wellbeing of children.

In my opinion I think that the case worker is the first part of ensuring safety for a child in foster care. According to the Huffington Post, there is little you can do about a bad social worker. If you come across a social worker who you feel isn’t looking out for the best interest of the child, there isn’t really anything you can do to change that no matter the situation, which truly fails to ensure the wellbeing of the child since they are the ones mostly affected. In that same article, a foster parent spoke about a caseworker getting so angry at a child that they demanded the foster parents to remove the doors from the girl’s bedroom and bathroom. This doesn’t seem like a way to keep a child happy, or comfortable. In fact, this is the total opposite. The Caseworker also told the family that she would not leave the house until her request was put into action, which is another example of how the foster care system doesn’t hold up to the definition of the word well-being. I feel as though that this a huge problem within the system because the Caseworker who is an adult portraying this act of spitefulness towards a child whose life is already unstable isn’t fair at all and it goes to show how much the children of the state are cared for. Which there is none.

I think that abuse in foster homes can be physical, mental, or emotional. Anything someone does affects a child and their well-being. There is no way that anyone could possible say that foster homes decrease the risk of physical harm because we have seen it from time to time with so many cases across America. To fix this problem, we need to one: hire many more case workers so that one case worker doesn’t have an entire caseload of children to look after, and two: begin to believe these children when they say that something has happened to them, they’ve been through enough.

Works Cited:

Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care. “Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care.” Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 Nov. 2000,

Cross, Theodore P. “Why Do Children Experience Multiple Placement Changes in Foster Care? Content Analysis on Reasons for Instability.” Taylor & Francis, 14 Feb. 2013,

Troutman, Beth. “The Effects of Foster Care Placement on Young Children’s Mental Health: Risks and Opportunities.”

Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2017). Foster care statistics 2015. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.

McFadden, Emily Jean|Ryan Patricia. “Abuse in Family Foster Homes: Characteristics of the Vulnerable Child.” ERIC – Education Resources Information Center, 31 July 1986,

“A Critical Look at Foster Care: How Widespread a Problem?” A Critical Look at Foster Care: How Widespread a Problem?, 1 Dec. 2005,

Teo, Dawn. “The 10 Most Surprising Things About Foster Care.” The Huffington Post., 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.Works Cited
“Abuse in Foster Care: The Denial Runs Deep.” The Chronicle of Social Change, 5 Nov

Research -NewEditionLover

Do We Just Accept Gun Violence”

After many problems with the violence of guns enough is enough! Gun violence snuffs out a life too early, and it inflicts pain where it was not intended, on the survivors. Gun violence also deprives families of their loved ones. When someone is shot it may leave them permanently injured and or dead. What would people do if there loved ones were affected and suddenly not here one day? Gun violence is the trauma inflicted on survivors and we must do more as a country to prevent it.

In society today we always here about gun violence but has one did anything to lower this deadly or non deadly rate? We first need to address reasons as to why people need guns? I believe that guns are only necessary if you are fighting in the war for our country nothing more nothing less! I know there are many guns laws in effect today like the right to carry with a permit but to me that gives a negative stigma on people. Next to me having a right to carry is basically giving you a free range to draw your weapon soon as you get into a altercation with someone. I’m not saying this is facts but this is simply my opinion. In the article “The Benefits Of Reducing Gun Violence” the author states “compared with earlier research our estimates provide a very different picture of both
the magnitude and distribution of the costs of gun violence. Previous studies of the
benefits of reducing gun violence have adopted an ex post approach that begins with a
count of the annual number of gunshot injuries and then multiples this figure by some
estimate of the cost per injury.”  This shows me the importance of bad gun violence is affecting our country and were simply not doing anything to stop it.

Gun violence has been a bad epidemic since the beginning of times. If anyone was to know anything about gun violence it would be me! When I was just 13 years old my father Kevin Johnson was shot and killed on July 1 2011,in Camden NJ. Next I wondered so much about why this occurred and always thought to myself what would cause someone to end someones life on anyone else’s terms except God. My father was gunned down around 3 am and was shot at 12 times were he succumbed to his injuries.Before the passing of my father I as a child was never really allowed to play with toy guns or cap guns as we used to call them due to the ability that it might encourage us to actually want to shoot someone one day my elders stated. I believe the epidemic of guns started once more when video games created more of a violent and negative stigma to hurt someone who gets in your way!  Almost every video game that is out today deals with guns and or violence which may create negative behavior towards another person .Ever since that tragic day I always look back and review why are guns so important in the first place for our country.

Furthermore losing a loved one to gun violence is something that’s terrible. Next the thought of them dying in so much pain and agony makes you cringe to the floor. I can contest that the mental process is something that is hard to deal with, your constantly thinking and wondering how could someone want to harm someone so bad to the point where the other person is dead. Likewise in the process you have to deal with crying,long nights of reminiscing and ,planning to make sure that the day they are laid to rest is nothing but magnificent. In my opinion its just not a pretty feeling I was very depressed and could not stop asking God why this had to happen to me! I questioned myself asking what did I do wrong? Or could I have stopped my father from being out so late that night? I basically felt like there was something that I could’ve done to prevent his death and I was only thirteen years old at the time. In addition to this  very day I am still wondering what would make someone want to shoot my father 12 times in cold agony. The article of my fathers death “One dead ,four wounded” offer a brief synopsis of what happened. The article stated “Kevin Johnson, 31, of Camden, was shot multiple times about 1:30 a.m. It appears he was in an argument with the shooter prior to the time of the shooting. He died about 2 a.m. in Cooper University Hospital here, a spokesman for Faulk said.” I still want to know what  was the argument about that initiated the killing of my loving father ! Will I ever get answers that will ease my pain and take this burden off my chest?  Some answers I may never find out and I have to live with that pain for the rest of my life .

What can we do to stop gun violence? The article “Gun Violence Must Stop Here’s What We Can Do To Prevent More Deaths” recommends and states that there should be gun safety among anyone who wants the right to carry a weapon. This system would make people who want to obtain the right to have a firearm commit to firearm training to insist that the weapon is being properly kept. I believe the needs for this is great and would permit less people to want to carry because some people are simply lazy and might not want to commit to the training.Next they recommend a mental health assessment! As stated in my Proposal+5 I believe that all people who want to have a gun in their possession that they undergo serious mental health evaluations. Therefore the article recommends that we have to get rid of the bad stigma of mental health and issues and really get checked at the appropriate  time. Many people are afraid of what others think which causes people to may not wanna be evaluated.

Later as a country we must continue to move in the right direction. As a move in progress a we must continue to question why do people need to have fire arms? I think that that if you want to use firearms for violence then you should join the army or something of that nature. I believe that if you have a firearm and are a person with problems with the law and have prior affiliation to violence and especially with gun violence you should not be permitted to have one.  I say this because the person is more likely to resort to violence especially with gun violence. As we are tying to reduce and prevent gun violence as much as possible the more people out the way the better. We must simply react differently and  the article “Gun Violence Must Stop Here’s What We Can Do To Prevent More Deaths” the 4th recommendation or clause consists of sensible gun laws! Their is no reason that there are ways in which you can maneuver around the system and find random people selling firearms legal.This is a way in which people have to got through a background check and re institute the gun laws. This recommendation proposed that deadly weapons of any assault has any range of being anywhere in the community or any immediate surroundings except the battlefield as I previously talked about. In the article “Violent Felons Can Buy Guns Online Without Background Checks”  states that “Federal law prohibits felons from purchasing or receiving guns unless their rights have been formally restored. However, felons can get around this obstacle by buying guns from sellers who do not require criminal background checks.” Furthermore this is very dangerous and the source and sight should be doomed illegal and needs to be shut down immediately. Next the article states”Violent felons aren’t allowed to buy guns, period ,But they can take advantage of the loophole in federal law that allows gun sales, including some gun sales over the Internet, to purchase from non-licensed sellers, who don’t have to conduct a background check.” This is a very serious and problem that must be federally evaluated and looked as a probation violation for felons that aren’t legitimately able to purchase weapons.

Gun Violence is very dangerous and one of the most leading causes in American deaths. Using a gun could be one of the most cowardly actions you could ever due. When you decide you want to harm someone is when the real question Of is this person mentally ill is frequently asked . Many people who decide that they want guns are following after the United States constitution and the act of the rights to individual to bear arms. This gives individuals the rights to have a firearm for protection , hunting and other activities. Many people think that guns are bad and all they do is kill people. In fact guns do kill people  but they also serve & protect people in difficult circumstances whenever something ridiculous may happen.Changing the laws still today may not prevent criminals and others to obtain guns.

The lack of mental health treatment in these cases is shown to be a direct cause of violence. The only correct way for civilization to reduce crime would be to improve access to treatment for mentally-ill individuals, and to improve the armament of our police forces.  In addition having gun control laws may implement more higher crime rates. Although guns isn’t the only major risk of violence it is one of the most highest causes! Guns aren’t the only weapons used in crime ! Since we are going in an affect to ban guns should we should ban everything that is considered harmful. Such examples can go as followed knives , and other harmful items known to man.

Now guns are just a tool but it can be used for good and bad. Some people that abide by the laws use guns for hunting & protection. On the other hand we have the ones who don’t follow the rules and break the rules in such cruel ways by intending to harm or cause chaos. Next guns generally started off in a good manner helping to preserve land and keep our freedom! But then it suddenly turned around as our world changed it became a deadly weapon used to inflict pain or by killing. Does the possibility of guns being available serve as an advantage to gun Violence ? I believe that the ideas of guns being available and the acces being very easy gives people the urge to want to break the law.

In addition you barely hear that someone actually used there gun in an act of self defense . Changing the laws still today may not prevent criminals and others to obtain guns. The access is simply to easy & there’s nothing we can do to stop that. Does a person being mentally ill have anything to do with gun Violence ? According  to Metzelz article “Mental Illness, Mass Shooting’s  “mental illness causes gun violence, (2) that psychiatric diagnosis can predict gun crime, (3) that shootings represent the deranged acts of mentally ill loners.” In almost every incident including huge shootings mental illness is always a question of it .The perpetrators of mass shootings, and crime in general tend to be mentally-ill. These individuals commit violence even though firearms regulated.

Many people are in higher risk of being affected by gun violence due to the problems of bulk weapons. According to Giffords Law Center “Laws limiting the number of guns someone can buy within a short span of time helps reduce gun trafficking.” This is very significant because this will prevent and lower the number of victims and hopefully send a message to everyone. Furthermore I believe the restriction of bulk buying will make purchasers not feel the urge to continue to buy or even try to sell the product through an illegal way. “New Jersey prohibits licensed firearms dealers from knowingly delivering more than one handgun to any person within any 30-day period. With limited exceptions, people may not purchase more than one handgun within any 30-day period.” The new reality is that crime is slowly but surely shaping the country but is also making the world a more systematic consequence. The offenses of gun violence and illegal activities with firearms in New Jersey are becoming more of a strict haven to make this world a safe country again.

However guns are not just causing the tragic violence and horrible message that it simply portrays.Guns help by eliminating enemies in time of a real altercations like wars. Any attempt to limit gun ownership, let alone eliminate them, is met with vehement resistance. Guns create an order of protection as  they can be used as a means for a safe haven. The thought of me saying that guns are a good deed may have some cringing on their toes right now.Banning guns would certainly reduce injuries and gun deaths, and we are all in favor of that. An outright gun ban is unlikely, but we could greatly reduce the problem guns pose if we opposed them with one voice.Next to not injure people and not have this stigma on guns authorized users must exhibit to some type of mental illness testing to show that they are well and not sick in the head. According to an article “Mental Illness, Mass shootings, and the politics of firearms” stated that a number of states passed bills that required mental health professionals to report “dangerous patients” to local officials, who would then be authorized to confiscate any firearms that these persons might own. “People who have mental health issues should not have guns,” This quote emphasizes the importance of mental health test and the screening precautions they take to to prevent disasters.

To make this world a safe place again we must not eliminate guns as a whole! To not injure anyone we must further conclude that guns can belong in homes,  can be carried by individual’s, and should  be in use of anyone with special authority. I feel as though we are in a great area of protection and for the most part if we are in direct need we have a lot of assistance to help us in need. Next one condition that can be made is by doing background checks on all participants that are trying to purchase guns.  Guns aren’t safe but if you get a background check this may ensure that you’re not crazy or trying to do something illegal. The article “Everything You Need To Know About Background Checks by Miles Kohrman and Jennifer Mascia states that The overwhelming majority of gun background checks take just minutes to clear the would-be buyer. Only 2 percent result in a rejection because of a disqualifying record in the shopper’s personal history. Although the background checks are concluded we still have some who still might finesse the system still being able to receive the gun.”And then there are the people who slip through the cracks and obtain guns they should have been barred from possessing — sometimes with deadly consequences.” The gunmen in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting, Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre, and Virginia Tech rampage each had a history that banned them from owning firearms. Yet none were stopped, because of omissions and loopholes in the system.” I believe that with our countries history of gun violence its in the best interest that we put an immediate stop to anyone who seeks or previously seeked psychiatric or some sort trying to obtain any kind of firearm no matter what it is.

If we keep more guns away then there will be less deaths! Gun Violence in the United State’s is one of the most causing leads of death’s today. If guns were safer then more people would be getting injured or killed less. My father was killed July 1 ,2011 to gun violence. In addition the man who was accused of shooting and murdering my father was not authorized to be carrying a firearm and the gun was pronounced stolen. In this case of a stolen gun this man never had to go through the stages of getting a background check. Next this causes many of new theories in my head ,just like this man there are other people  who always find ways to get whatever they need in the moment. Since the man accused of the murder was one under the age to own a gun permit that should of raised a flag from whatever person that he purchased the gun from. Although Camden may be dangerous to some people it is a great home and can teach you a lot about this so called world we live in. It was about one am as my father drove the streets of Haddon Avenue in the Park side area as he was approached to a 20 year old man with a gun. My father defended himself to the best of his abilities as he fought to stay alive. In addition some may state it was a weird timing for your father to be out that late ,which it was and I will never know why he was out that late but he was. My father was reportedly shot 12 times and his death approached within a few hours later. Now I must say. how did at the time 20 year old Denzel Satterfield get a authorized weapon ? Things like this make me question the system of background check and other policies that we enforce so heavily in our state. In addition cops concluded that Denzel was not of the age requirements to have an authorized weapon or was never given a background check. Next this shows how many people who are criminals slip through the system everyday and do not need background checks to make them a gun holder.

Guns can be very safe if used correctly! Guns were typically used for military and war purposes to fight battles and other such things.”But the difference between guns here and guns elsewhere is that here in America, they are constitutionally protected. “The constitution declares that “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” In addition back in the day guns were needed and there was never really a policy or law on why people had guns. Next but now that the law of guns is more complex there is a problem. Later guns were used against our rivals and keeping our country safe as far into keeping and remaining a free country. Guns could be safe and a way to better justify it is if you want to use a gun then I further hence you to join the army or a place some other type of legal action that will continue fighting for the United States Of America. This wouldn’t be an discussion if people were fighting for us but instead they are fighting and killing each other. Now for instance if guns were used the correct way the world today would have less of a problem with guns because it would be seen as a positive reinforcement instead of a negative sight.

Guns have been around for decades and may have good and bad intentions but we have to protect the country in ways that people are know using them for ,but people shouldn’t be allowed to purchase guns in bulk. Bulk Gun Purchases article concludes that “Laws limiting the number of firearms a person can purchase within a certain time frame help reduce the number of guns that enter the secondary market—weapons that are more likely to wind up at the scene of a crime. Commonsense regulation of bulk gun purchases is an easy way to reduce gun trafficking and, in turn, gun violence.” In addition this  quote emphasizes what I’ve been stating throughout the entire paper , reducing the number of guns once is permitted to have makes a better environment so gun violence is prohibited or prevented in general. Next the limit of firearm are doomed to be lower and show that fewer guns are traced back to crimes. In comparison to the article by Giffords Law Center state that sixty six percent of guns were recovered in New Jersey New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts combined.

Furthermore Federal law does not limit the number of guns a person may buy in any given time period. However, federal law does require federal firearm licensees (“FFLs”) to report multiple sales of handguns to ATF and other specified law enforcement agencies. This reporting requirement was created to enable law enforcement to “monitor and deter illegal interstate commerce in pistols and revolvers by unlicensed persons,” though there is no federal requirement that law enforcement actually investigate illegal trafficking.” which connects back into the theory that multiple purchases are not accepted as they may come off as a criminal act. In addition this reinforces the positive message that illegal actives will not be tolerated and this all together will prevent gun violence all over the country.

Work Cited –

Ludwig, Jens, and Philip J. Cook. “The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data.” SpringerLink, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1 May 2001,

Scott H. Decker, Susan Pennell, and Ami Caldwell “Illegal Firearms: Access and Use By Arrestees”1 January 1997,

Alcorn, T., & Burris, S. (2016). Gun violence prevention. The Lancet, 388(10041), 233. doi:

Shannon Frattaroli, Daniel W. Webster, Garen J. Wintemute. Implementing a Public Health Approach to Gun Violence Prevention: The Importance of Physician Engagement. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158:697–698. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-158-9-201305070-00597

Schafer, J. “Rates of Intimate Partner Violence in the United States.” American Public Health Association (APHA) Publications, 30 Aug. 2011, “Gun Control” 5 Oct. 2017, 6:21 p.m.,

Metzl, Jonathan. Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms. 9 Aug. 2014,

Kate’s, Don B.; Mauser, Gary. “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide – A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy vol. 30, no. 2 (Spring 2007): p. 649-694.

Politifact, and Barack Obama President. “Obama: Violent Felons Can Buy Guns Online without Background Checks.” @Politifact, 5 Jan. 2016,

“Bulk Gun Purchases.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 15 Oct. 2017,



Living in a Household with a Disabled Sibling

Parents have total obligations to give to their child, a child has no obligations to their parents unless negotiated between the two. A parent and child negotiation may take place when the child is old enough to do chorus for their parents and in return the child may earn allowance. When raising a child with disabilities it can be different the parents still have all obligations of caring for the child but will the disabled child ever have a negotiation with their parents to have obligations of their own? To further explain, in a morden day family when the parents get elderly and needs care the children step in and try their best to provide care to their parents or they choose other options if necessary in most situations. In some situations a family could have a disabled child who is the only child. What happens when those parents get elderly and need care and the disabled child is not able to provide it. Another question is what happens to the disabled child who needs to be cared for?  Yes, there are plenty of other options that can be put into place but what if that is not the families wishes. The responsibilities extend to other family members such as aunt’s, uncles and cousins. This topic can be very touchy but I wanted to share a similar families situation to mine and find out more information on families who are also taking care of a disabled child by research.

Here is a view of a four member house hold that includes one child that is disabled, very similar to my own. Two patents and two children and one child is disabled. All members of the family dedicate time to taking care of the disabled child. Some common and every day needs a disabled child may need are, personal care, feed meals, taking them to therapy sessions and also provided them with their proper medications. And most often these responsibilities get pushed on the able sibling to do. It is not easy, having to care for the disabled child 24/7 these responsibilities may fall on any family member such as mother, father, sibling or grandparents. Both parents are busy working to care and provide for the family. In wishful thinking it would be nice to have a parents who is able to stay at home and care for the disabled child. Having that one on one parent connection is important in many aspects. Some families are fortunate to have only one parent who can work and provides for the family, but not every family is able to have that ability. It seems that families that have that one on one parent connection and caring for the child, are happier and function more smoothly. You may be thinking that both parents should care for the disabled child equally, which is true but both parents will get overworked quicker.

Another common situation is when there is a single parent caring for the family, his or her family may consist of multiple able children and one disabled child. In this situation the single parent is more likely to become overworked. Parents in this situation try to be strong for their family and try to be stress free but the parents may need to seek assistance from programs or family members to care for the disabled child. All children need attention and support from their parents but when a single family house hold it may seem that the parent it constantly showing the disable child more attention then the other children she or he might have. This can cause jealously between the siblings. Until they are able to understand that their sibling has a metal illness and needs 24/7 care. Once they understand that about their sibling they can become a big help to the single parent.

Sometimes parents make negotiations with the able child to care for their sibling and may get allowance in return. If the able child is older than the disabled child and can handle the responsibility, this is what is seen in most cases. At the same time the able sibling tries to have a personal life with friends but often it is hard and seems unfair. The able child thinks life is unfair because they have a huge obligation of providing care for their sibling. While the disable child thinks life is unfair because all they can do is receive care and can’t provide any in return, the disabled sibling child wishing they were able body like their sibling. Both siblings are in tough situations, they may feel like they are stuck for the rest of their lives. Family member may sometimes think it is not fair and the disabled child may have the same thought but coming from different point of views. Another tough situation a family may experience is when a younger sibling is too young to understand. The younger sibling will understand the conditions of their sibling but for many years they have no clue. They don’t understand that their brother or sister has autism, down syndrome or maybe a condition that causes them to be wheelchair bound. This can have a huge impact of the families stress, having to explain to the younger sibling that their older sibling has a mental illness. Eventually the younger child will learn about their siblings metal illness and love them just the same.

Having a disabled child can cause a lot of stress on the parents and the entire family. The stress can come from being overworked and constantly worrying about the disabled child when a family member is not with them. Another stress causer is keeping up with the disabled childs schedule, doctors appointment can cause parents to mess work. Some disabled family members receive therapy. Some therapy sessions the disabled child may attend are Physical therapy, speech therapy or occupation therapy. Parents and family members wishing there disabled child was normal or able body can cause a constant amount of stress.

The author has collected and analyzed the psychological literature examining the Chronic Sorrow of parents who give birth to children with disabilities. She describes the ongoing grief—similar to the grief of parents whose child dies—caused by “the loss of an idealized normal child.” One parent reports that he and others suffer “months and years of anguish, roller coaster cycles of elation and depression as the parents try to deny the evidence before their eyes that their child is less than ordinary or normal.” Their ongoing grief that there child was born with and will likely always live with a disability.

The effect on normal siblings is not described in this source, but is easy to imagine from what is described. “Parents cannot effectively mourn the loss of the idealized child because of the unrelenting daily demands of the living disabled child,” which will reasonably deprive them of the psychic strength to properly nurture their “normal” children as they deserve. And that will likely cause resentment in the siblings. Parents who feel “helpless, hopeless, and anxious” all the time, and who react with “anger, resentment, and aggression” to the frustration of their predicament will not parent as well as they should.

 I used this article to establish that parents of a handicapped child are stunted in their ability to properly nurture their other children. Then, since the parents are grieving, I sought and found articles that address how the death of a sibling affects the parent-child relationship with the survivors. Those healthy siblings suffer a loss of affection from their parents along with the burden of being the surviving child, of whom much more is expected and demanded.

My point is a child who is able or disabled has to obligation to “return the favor” to their parents unless negotiated between the child and patent. But Im rebutting that it is not fair for a disabled child to “return the favor.” It may or may not be the child or parents fault the child is disabled but it is something the family has to live with. Why should a disabled child have to “return the favor” when they wish to not be disabled and think it is unfair.




Work Cited

1. Copley, Margaret Freeman, and John B. Bodensteiner. “Chronic Sorrow in Families of Disabled Children.” Journal of Child Neurology, vol. 2, no. 1, 1987, pp. 67–70., doi:10.1177/088307388700200113.

2. Featherstone H: A difference in the family, in Living With a Disabled Child. New York, Penguin Books, 1980, pp 232, 233.