Anomalous Data
Last night I went to a meeting at my eleven-year-old's school....">

Voting on the issues

Mirrored from: Anomalous Data

Last night I went to a meeting at my eleven-year-old's school. The purpose of the meeting was "curriculum night". Basically, they explain the homework to you so you can help your child without confusing them.

Anyway, the teacher was talking about their current events unit, which as you might expect is primarily taken up with the election process right now.

The teacher told of an exercise wherein he read from both the Bush and Kerry websites. He read where each of the candidates stood on the main issues of the campaign. He didn't say who was who just "this is what candidate one says, this is what candidate two says".

The kids made tally marks about each thing they agreed with from each candidate.

Then the kids voted on the issues.

Four kids voted for Bush. 26 kids voted for Kerry.

You have to realize the significance of this. We live in Eden Prairie, MN. George W Bush came to our high school and lauded it as a model for all school systems everywhere presumably due to the fact that it is in a tremendously affluent and conservative suburb, and continues to pump out high-quality graduates despite being severely under-funded.

(I can tell you how they do this in another article. But mostly, it has to do with teachers spending out-of-pocket for classroom supplies, parents donating supplies, a legion of parent volunteers in lieu of staff, and parents spending about as much time and energy teaching their kids at home as they do earning money at work, endless fundraisers, and an endless stream of nickel-and-dime fees that don't seem like much individually, but add up to a lot over time...oh yeah, and deferring essential building maintenance for the past few years.)

At any rate, Eden Prairie has grown a crop of Bush/Cheney yard signs that rivals the corn crops of neighboring rural towns. This is Bush country, make no mistake about it, as illustrated by the fact that most of the kids who voted for John Kerry were greatly upset by it. They booed the results of their vote. They were upset that they had voted for the "wrong guy".

Glancing around the classroom at the faces of the other parents, I could see that many of them were disturbed as well. What could have gone wrong? How had they failed their children? What did this mean?

The teacher went on to say that he assured the kids that the election was not yet over, and that there still might be many issues where they would agree with George W. Bush, and maybe when they tried again later, they would end up voting for him.

The parents looked relieved as well.

The gears that had begun to grind uncomfortably in their heads smoothed out and they relaxed.

We moved on to talk about other things, and everyone was happy.

The end.

Update: I created an online version of the same concept.
Leave A Reply - 8 Replies
Anonymous 2004-10-18 08:38pm - No Email - Logged IP: unknown


Anonymous 2004-10-19 02:33am - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

thats total bullshit. there little kids, what do u expect them to do? of course they'll fell sorry for the homeless and stuff like that. i would like to see what the teacher read outloud also.

Anonymous 2004-10-19 09:04pm - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

What's bullshit, my friend, is that you use vulgar language to get your point across and yet do not even have the brains to use the correct "there." It's THEY'RE. In any event, I find it sickening that these kids are mad that they voted for the "wrong guy." If you agree with one man, how can you still vote in another. That right there, America, is Bullshit. You blindly follow one man because your parents tell you to. Wow, you are truly an independent bunch of thinkers aren't you? It's too bad that your lack of thought still qualifies you as people of the time.

Anonymous 2004-10-21 07:15am - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

This poll would really be something if character did not matter. Having character means that you follow through on your promises. If character is not to be a factor, then I would prefer to vote based on past performance, and apparently all these good ideas recently popped into John Kerry's head, because his record over twenty years in the U.S. Senate bears no resembelance to the claims on his website.

Anonymous 2004-10-21 07:38am - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

How can you accuse little kids of not thinking independently? The voting age is ridiculously low as it is (this coming from a 23 year old). Young adults can hardly understand the balancing game of interests that politics consists of, much less children. Perhaps you should consider that the children are merely trying to emulate the role models in their lives who do have the capacity to think independently.

Anonymous 2004-10-23 11:27pm - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

Hey. I like the quiz. It's interesting. I ended up 89% Bush, 11% Kerry. Most of my friends who took it ended up with 50 something-40 something. I guess it's obvious who I am voting for. The only problem with the quiz is that it is pretty vague (which you couldn't really help, I'm sure). And about your post, those kids are a little bit young to make a truly informed decision. It would be interesting to know specifically what the teacher read from the website.

Anonymous 2004-10-26 06:29am - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

As a teacher, I'm personally horrified at the irresponsible handling of the situation by the teacher of this class. A teacher's job is to give students the tools to make decisions, not to brainwash them. If the teacher presented information that led the students to vote for Kerry, doesn't that say something about the kids' power of discernment, despite their partisan upbringing? They should be taught to think about what their choice means - that clearly, presented with ideas rather than with unilateral "us" or "them" statements, they feel differently than their parents do, and that's OK!

"And a little child shall lead them." (Isa. 11:6)

Anonymous 2004-10-28 12:19am - No Email - Logged IP: unknown

Yeah, I'd have to agree, that was stupid. I took this poll, and I got 80% Bush. Bascially, Kerry says the same thing Bush does anyhow, then claims he is opposite, and adds extra crap to his facts to make it sound good. But the problem is, he has been saying this for 30 years and I don't see one result. On the other hand, at least Bush has done something towards what he spoke about 4 years ago.

And oh my, we should all change our minds because of some little kids! They would prefer candy 24/7, watch Barney, and be allowed to drive at 10 too! This whole post about the kids is so pathetic!

All content licensed under the Creative Commons License