Ingrid Lackey- Howell, intern reporter
Harwood Union High School and Middle School have hosted a mock general election for the past 16 years. The students voted on October 28, and will find out the results on October 30.
Kathy Cadwell, who has worked as a history teacher at Harwood since 1981 and student and faculty consultant, has been working with other history teachers on the mock election and some new voter education for students. This being a particularly eventful election year, students will engage in discussion after results of the mock election are received.
However, election education at Harwood came long before the mock election. In mid-October, the whole school watched a documentary called “Suppressed: The Fight to Vote,” which unveiled voter suppression during the state of Georgia’s 2018 midterm election. The students discussed the film after watching it in their TAs.
Cadwell said that there will be possibly more activities and educational opportunities, like the one presented by the film, coming from student clubs in the future.
A few members of the Harwood community old enough to vote were interviewed as well.
One senior, who asked to remain anonymous, had already voted.
When asked “when did you choose who to vote for” the student replied “Maybe around two years ago when people started sort of getting antsy about it, when I really knew who was going to be up for election for sure,” said from Kanye West. In this student’s opinion, having a nonbiased source of information is very important for young voters. This student said their American Studies class was informative enough to help them understand the current political climate, as well as inspiring enough to move them to do more independent research.
Teacher Adam Sargent said that Harwood’s AP U.S. Government and Politics class revolves around voting and elections. As a history teacher, Sargent teaches the AP U.S. Government and Politics class, as well as a class called Three Democracies. “It’s a big part of the course, being an election year, and we’ve been following the election, paying attention to campaign coverage, election year issues, trying to get students to be familiar with what’s happening with current events,” he said.
Cadwell, a longtime former teacher of Three Democracies, explained the impact that learning about the past can have on a person. “Teaching about the ancients and the origin of democracy, the idea that individual voice and individual choice and decision making and citizen action is the heart of democracy, I’ve always believed it personally as well as professionally. It’s important for people to know that their voice and their vote matters and our democracy depends on a free and questioning citizenry and people who take the time and energy to educate themselves and to vote. Citizen action is a bulwark against tyranny,” she said.