Hylton Families Negatively Impacted by Prolonged Government Shutdown


Sumayyah Farooq, Editor of News and Politics

In late December, America’s longest government shutdown began, ultimately lasting 35 days. Eight hundred thousand federal employees were affected by the shutdown; 380,000 individuals were placed on unpaid leave. Although the shutdown ended on January 25, many workers did not receive their missing paychecks for weeks.

Many Hylton students have parents who are federal employees and were affected by the shutdown.

Sophomore Nida Khan said that the government shutdown didn’t affect her personally, but it affected her friends.

“They had to stop and think about the money they usually take for granted and spend on everyday items like gas and toiletries to make it through the no pay period,” said Khan.

Senior John Ezzard’s family was affected by the shutdown. His mother was still required to work even though her pay was delayed.  She knew she would eventually receive her pay, but the family didn’t know when it would come.  Ezzard’s mom is the breadwinner so the family is heavily dependent on her income.

“Our family had to reach into the bank to pull from savings,” said Ezzard.

Sophomore Victoria Miranda’s mother was one of the lucky ones. Miranda’s mother works in the Department of Justice and helps to raise awareness about violence against women. She would have been laid off, but is considered essential personnel so she continued to receive a paycheck through the shutdown. Many of her employees were not as fortunate.

“My mom was really stressed,” said Miranda.  “There was a lot of anticipation and nervousness surrounding when they would be laid off.”

Sophomore Trinity Marshall shared that her mother is also an essential employee and didn’t have to worry about losing her paycheck this time; however, her mother was affected by a previous government shutdown.  That time she had a different job and her pay was delayed.

The shutdown has affected not just students’ families, but also family and friends of Hylton staff.

History teacher Mr. Scott Nestlebush shared that some of his close friends didn’t receive their salaries and many were struggling to find a way to pay their home mortgages.

Virginia was one of the most affected states in the government shutdown. Due to it’s proximity to Washington D.C., Prince William County has a lot of people who work for the government.