One of my colleagues did a little experiment with his classes. He had them vote on two different hypothetical schools.
- School #1 had a lot of rules and teachers and principals but students were given much more guidance and help and in many cases, several second chances at reform. At School #1, students had to pay a little more to attend but in return they were provided with better clubs and resources. Everyone at School #1 would be at a comfortable middle class socioeconomic status. Students who attended School #1 would be better prepared for college because of the strong guidance of their teachers.
- School #2 had fewer rules and allowed students to come up with their own rules and regulations. They would be given more freedom and fewer rules at School #2 and would pay less to attend. But School #2 would not offer as many clubs and resources for free and the teachers and administration would not help them with their school work or bail them out if they got in trouble. School #2 would have some poor kids, some middle class kids, and some rich kids. Students who attended School #2 would still have a chance to attend college, but wouldn't get the help of teachers.
For which school do you think 95% of his students voted? Yep, School #2. "We want more freedom!" "We don't want no one telling us what to do!" "We can figure our stuff out for ourselves!" "Clubs are stupid anyway." When my colleague revealed which school embodied the basic outline of the Democratic party's ideals and which one embodied the Republican party's ideals, the students were outraged. "You tricked us!" "Vote Obama! He tight!" "If you vote Mitt Romney, you racist."
On November 6th, all day I was asked, "Who are you voting for?" I just smiled and shook my head. I tried telling one class about Glenda Ritz, the woman running again the current Indiana State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Bennett and why I was voting for her. They didn't care, even though her winning the election will effect them more than President Obama's victory will. It's been a week and the smear ads are finally off the TV, Facebook status updates are no longer all about politics, and I haven't heard Romney or Obama's names spoken in the hallways once. Not sure what to take from this other than I'm glad voters grow up before going to the polls... right?