Best and worst from this week’s headlines

This week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam condemned a plan to arm teachers and staff in a rural school district in the southwest region of the state. Luckily, the governor spoke out against the well-meaning – but ultimately misguided – plan.

A new study found that using services like UberPool are only making traffic worse, marking another seemingly positive service that missed the mark. Unfortunately, this one has gone unchecked and will now need action to remedy.

Here are the best and worst from this week’s headlines:

Thumbs up:

Earlier this month, a Lee County, Va. school board voted unanimously to allow its staff members to carry concealed firearms on campus. But Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he doesn’t think the option is “a good path to take” in an interview Wednesday.

The idea of arming teachers and staff gains popularity after any school shooting occurs, but after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the notion has become increasingly common. While it is normal to want to do whatever it takes to protect children, arming teachers only adds more weapons to campus, which is a bad move for students’ safety.

In an emergency, it is extremely difficult to rely on the school’s staff, regardless of their training, to defend their students.

If the school board’s vote was approved, it would be the first school district in Virginia to arm its teachers. But states like Texas, Washington and Ohio have been arming their teachers since 2013.

It is not a new concept, but it is also one that lacks evidence to support that arming teachers will keep our students safer.

Thumbs down:

As students in a city that is always on the move, using services like the Metro, Uber and Lyft is a normal part of our lives. Whether we are going to class, internships or dinner with friends or family, we are dependent on the city’s transportation services.

But those services aren’t always cheap, which is why customers jump at the opportunity to take UberPool and Lyft Line trips to save money. Many think choosing the shared service is also good for the environment, but new research found they are wrong.

Ride-sharing services add more cars on the road, which inevitably worsens traffic and leads to more car emissions, according to a study by Schaller Consulting released Wednesday.

With this new information, it’s important for students, as frequent users of ride-hailing services, to consider the consequences of their transportation choices.

When passengers need a quick ride across the city, a ride-sharing service may be their only choice. But local government can take action to remedy this issue by investing in public transportation.

Renee Pineda, a senior majoring in political science, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.

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