Bringing politics to a younger audience

Stephanie Hays, Opinion Editor

As high schoolers on the brink of adulthood, politics have become a more pressing issue in our daily lives. However, a large number of students (including myself) are about to graduate with no more than a rudimentary understanding of how the government works and little accurate information regarding controversial topics. Politics, instead of not being introduced to students until their senior year, should be brought up in government classes in middle school.

Today, most students have to create their own political views based off of what their parents believe, or what they hear from their friends. People are constantly hearing inaccurate information about controversial political topics from their classmates, magazines, and television shows. This inaccurate data is what helps form people’s political views and ideas, and it has the danger of making a person fiercely defensive over what they believe, even if what they believe is incorrect.

What is incredibly important then, is to make sure that children are growing up without the views of their parents being shoved down their throats, and the way to do that is to create mandatory government classes in middle school.

First off, the classes ought to teach about the basic government so students know how bills become laws, the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the three different branches of government. Now I know that most history classes in middle school cover these topics, but what is of a greater importance, is the political standpoints of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and the introduction to controversial topics.

By bringing these topics to children at such a young age, they have the opportunity to talk to other students, debate topics, and formulate their own views and what they believe early on in an environment that is free of bias.

As students move on into high school, classes should still continue to cover current events and go more in depth on political views and sides, and explore smaller political parties like the Green party, the Independent party, and the Libertarian party so that students can find the right fit for them.

While Liberty does currently have an AP Government class, it is only open to seniors, and I believe that government classes should be spread out over all four years, or at least open up the option to take a government class to all four years.

Our political views are incredibly important, and shouldn’t be based off of our friends’ ideas. By introducing politics to a younger age group, students can build their own ideas, and vote without knowing what they are voting about. And once we all get to the world that lies past high school, we can stand for our own views and do our best to make our country the best it can be.