This year, for the first time in a while, several seniors at Marietta High School were enrolled in a Political Science class taught by high school counselor and Marietta mayor Kim Fraire. For most high school seniors, taking political science would probably be viewed as something about like getting your teeth cleaned—way too gritty and not very interesting – but Fraire is taking this year’s election and turning it into an opportunity to make the class time count.
“This year we’ve talked about why it’s important to be educated on all political issues, not just the ones that matter to us,” Fraire said. “We don’t talk so much about political parties, but more about how the democratic system works and how to hold our elected officials accountable.”
One emphasis of the course is encouraging 18-year-old seniors to register to vote and teaching them the importance of voting. Several of the students have registered and are planning to vote for the first time in the November 3 General Election.
“I want to vote, and I think it’s important for me to vote because my generation is the future,” said Alex Amaya. “If we care about how the United States is going to end up, then we’ll go vote. I think it’s going to feel good to know I voted.”
Another student, Hailey Desilva registered to vote because it gives her the ability to express her right to choose.
“It’s my duty and right as an American to vote,” stated Easton Sherfield. “This is the way we make our voices heard and it’s a privilege we should not take lightly.”
Jacqueline Casey said she’s happy that she can finally vote and has high hopes that her ballot will help to make a difference in her country.
“Someone has to take responsibility for our country and not just leave it for other people to fix,” said Brayden Dodd, who expects voting to give him a feeling of satisfaction of having done his part.
Students have discussed plenty of issues. They’ve also talked about how politics can be emotional, and how politicians sometimes use propaganda in campaigns to manipulate people’s decision making.
“We hear so many people say that our vote doesn’t count,” said Sherfield, “but that mentality is ruining our democracy. If more people were educated and expressing their beliefs by voting, then we would actually see change in this country.”