News events affect 2021-22 school year


Students of the Class of 2022 have had many curve balls thrown their way. Whether it’s local, national, or worldwide events, this year’s seniors have seen it all (while trying to graduate high school no less.) Here’s a quick re-cap of eight important events (in chronological order) that have been influencing society during the 2021-22 school year.
Spotlight on athlete mental health: Gymnast Simone Biles dropped out of the 2021 Summer Olympics mid-competition to better her mental health. She has since become an advocate for athlete mental wellness, and inspired other Olympians like Naomi Osaka and Gracie Gold to be vulnerable while sharing their struggles. With the high-intensity stress and stoicism plaguing many athletes, this allowed many to gain necessary support while competing.
U.S. troops completely withdraw from Afghanistan: A 20-year war ended on Aug. 31 with the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. A lot of criticism arose towards President Joseph Biden due to this decision and how sudden it seemed. In the process, U.S. troops destroyed more than 70 aircraft and dozens of armored cars. The general consensus of the event is that it was necessary, but it could’ve been handled differently and more strategically. In the chaos, the U.S. left behind lots of military equipment which was used by the Taliban during their swift campaign to retake the country. The Taliban is now in control of Afghanistan.
Astroworld tragedy: At least 10 were killed and hundreds injured due to overcrowding incited by rapper Travis Scott at his “Astroworld” concert Nov. 5. Scott was seen continuing to perform despite fan’s pleas for help and encouraging people to “get wild” while stretchers with lifeless bodies were leaving the event. This led to a lawsuit against Scott and heightened concert safety protocols for many other performing artists.
#FreeBritney Movement: Pop star Britney Spears’ conservatorship ended Nov. 12 due to a lawsuit and public uproar. The conservatorship gave her father, Jamie Spears, complete control over her personal life and finances due to her mental state. Spears was unable to have children or marry her fiance, and couldn’t visit her teenage sons on her terms. Her estate and performing appearances were also out of her control for the 13 year duration.
Death of Betty White: The world lost an incredibly witty and beloved actress on Dec. 31, 2022. She passed on peacefully in her sleep at the age of 99, leaving behind
an enormous legacy. Best known for playing Rose Nylund in the sitcom The Golden Girls, she is also credited as being one of the first women behind and in front of the camera in the entertainment industry. White was a trailblazer and an outstanding comedian.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine: A steep escalation of the Russo-Ukraine war (ongoing since 2014) occurred on Feb. 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine. More than a third of the Ukrainian population has since been displaced, with more than 6.2 million people fleeing the country. Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, began this war in an attempt to “destroy the threatening presence” of Ukraine and reinstate Russian rule.

COVID-19 deaths exceed 6 million worldwide: The pandemic has taken over 6 million lives as of March 7. A truly staggering statistic as the world goes through its third year of dealing with COVID-19. Thankfully though, science and PPE have come a long way since the days of washing chip bags and baking sourdough bread. The CDC estimates that one in every 13,000 people worldwide have died due to COVID-19 thus far.

Roe v. Wade discussion: News outlet Politico obtained a draft of the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on May 2. This case provides an opening for the justices to reassess the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that protects the right to abortion. The draft shows that the Supreme Court is leaning towards striking down the 1973 decision. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. has gone on the record to say that the leaked draft does not indicate the final decision or positions of any justice. A final decision is expected over the summer.