While many still are a few years away from the age to cast a ballot in the national, state and county elections, they are eligible to vote in the school’s mock election.
Catherine Thornton, with the social studies department, said that students have been using the mock election to learn more about not only the electoral process but the candidates.
Posters, with photos and political platforms, fill one of the display cases at the school. One poster for the each of the candidates — even the independent parties.
The idea, she said, is to teach critical and logical thinking to the students. They are learning to ask themselves, “What are all the options?” she said.
“Your actions are going to have a reaction. Are you prepared to live with that?”
She added that the classes aren’t teaching politics but about politics.
“They form their own opinions,” she said.
The mock election is headed by the National Honor Society as a community service project as it has in the past.
Louanne Lebourveau, who teaches English and is coordinating the election, smiled as she looked at the red ballot box already filling up during the first round of voting Thursday morning.
“It is really more than I anticipated,” she said. “I think it helps bring the kids into current events and makes them feel a part of things.
“Hopefully, it will make them more aware when they vote in the real world.”
The students are only voting in a handful of categories and not all the races available to Bee voters.
The youth are voting for President along with U.S. senator and representative.
This election is even spanning into the math department of the school.
Classes with Roy Hanus will use not only the mock and real election results but also the early polls in data analysis projects.
“It’s a cross-curriculum thing,” Thornton said. “We will see how we compare to the national level.”
Thornton predicted that their results would likely mirror the national results.
As students strolled by the voting booths, youth from the NHS called out, “Voting over here.”
One teen declined the vote.
“That is your freedom,” Lebourveau said.
Thornton reminded, “You have the right to vote, not the requirement,” she said.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.