Many students are lucky if they get even a basic knowledge of civics and the American government. They may know who is in the White House, but not a lot about what that president does that is important to their future. Voting is more than a right; at any age, it brings with it the responsibility to be informed before you vote.
Thomas Jefferson said that schools should focus on reading, writing, arithmetic, geometry, and the “outlines” of history and geography in an effort to help every citizen have the information he needs to be successful in his own business; improve, by reading, his morals and faculties; understand his duties to his neighbors and country; and to know his rights. We have sadly watered down our expectations for public education and avoid open political discussion like the plague.
More teachers and parents need to bring our American youth to the importance of constructive, passionate political discourse. Try visiting the Claremont Institute’s website, www.founding.com, and learn more about our country’s founding principles.
Even better; learn from Diego. Try having your family follow a conservative and liberal columnist and discuss the columns as a family. What Ms. Iwai started as a creative assignment ended with students corresponding with columnists about their own views. With what I’ve seen in Diego, we may all very well be reading his columns in the future. If so, he will have one very enthusiastic fan.