Unsolicited Thoughts and Opinions
This is my attempt at satire. Regardless of what your politics are; you’d have to wonder what impact the current political environment has on our young people. What lessons are they learning?
High School Politics: A Civics Lesson 101 in the 21st Century
Mount Rushless High School, in suburban Atlanta, provides an amazing insight into what our children may be learning from the current political atmosphere, and perhaps learning from their parents. It involves the school’s Student Government Association (SGA) and it’s a civics lesson for the 21st century… politics at Class AAAA level.
Mount Rushless could be considered a microcosm of America, its student body representing almost every ethnic and socio-economic group. As the new school year began three candidates ran for SGA President: Patrick “Phig” Newton, Abigail Donnareid, and LaJamarcustavious “LJ” Wilson – all juniors. After what was described as an ugly campaign, Wilson won.
A survey taken after the last election reveals the factions supporting each candidate. There are students who say the SGA’s responsibilities should be limited to homecoming and other social events, with no involvement in fundraising. Survey results placed nearly 100% of Newton’s supporters in that category.
Those that supported Donnareid want their student government to promote more after-school religious and family oriented activities. She talks fondly of her father’s efforts to “put God back into the classroom.”
“My dad jokes that what he tells me comes from the “Book of Buchanan” she said. “He also told me that this country was founded by Christians, and most of everything we do here, or at least used to do, was based on that, and we should never stray from it, even at my age. We need to take back our school.”
Wilson’s supporters, according to the survey, agreed with his campaign slogan: “Your Student Government Works for You!” His supporters are a mix of every demographic in the school. “I just want us all to be one school,” he said. “I saw nothing but one group fighting another, and it seemed every group thought they were the only ones who had the right answers, or thought they were the only true Mount Rushless students. Everybody kept talking about how their parents thought compromising was betraying what you believe. Everybody thought the word “compromise” was a sign of weakness.”
Among the incidents that occurred since the election:
The parents of Ben “Butch” Thompson, starting quarterback for the school’s newly crowned Class AAAAA champion football team, allowed him to skip the trophy presentation given at the school’s PTA meeting. “Dad said he really admired the example set by the pro athletes who didn’t accompany their team to the White House to be honored by Obama” said Thompson. “Dad wants me to stand up for what I believe in, and since I don’t like what LJ’s all about and didn’t vote for him, Dad said I didn’t have to attend.”
Several students, whose parents kept them out of school that day, boycotted Wilson’s inaugural address during assembly. When asked after the event why they took such action, one of the students, Michael Walrump, a transfer student from South Carolina, said, “I never supported any of the ideas that guy was proposing. If you don’t agree with someone, you don’t have to listen to them or do anything with them. I remember when my parents kept me home that time when Obama made that speech on TV. I didn’t vote for LJ, so I got nothing to hear from him.”
A few blocks from the school, several students, including Donnareid and Newton, gathered at the home of classmate Joseph Brown during Wilson’s speech to stage a “Tweeting for Truth” session. In explaining his actions, Newton told reporters “what you witnessed was a profound demonstration by true Rushless students who’re exercising their constitutional right to follow in their parent’s footsteps, and take bold action in showing those who would try to turn our school into a clone of Carl Marks High that we won’t tolerate it. Frankly, the election was a sham, as anyone can clearly see that it was those students who don’t believe in studying who voted for LJ. Those people, combined with the clear naiveté of most freshmen who believe in LJ’s rhetoric, propelled us into this pit of student misery, and frankly what we need to do is take a look at the qualifications for voting in the next election.”
Wilson’s homecoming assembly speech didn’t fare any better than his inaugural address. It was interrupted by a still-unidentified student who shouted, “you’re a liar,” causing outbursts of laughter, arguments, and general confusion among the students. It took over fifteen minutes for school staff to restore order. Several students, when questioned about the appropriateness of the outburst, referenced their parents’ pleasure over the “you lie” outburst during the President’s State of the Union address.
In all, what we’re seeing here and perhaps in schools all over the country, are the lessons our children are learning about politics… a new civics lesson for the 21st century.