Should kids be involved in politics

Rachel Eaton, Reporter

As the need for students to get involved in politics increases, recent studies show that minors are participating less in politics. A study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Statistics determined that most students are largely uninvolved in politics.

Jill Villasana, government teacher, said there could be a few reasons why this is.   

“As high school students start to put together the idea that the people that we elected make decisions that affect what is happening in our country and in our world, they start to realize how important it is, but then a lot of them get stopped there because they think: I can’t vote,” Villasana said.

Rachel McCarthy, assistant principal, said it is important to make sure that students’ opinions are their own voice. Laws across the nation prevent public school teachers from influencing their students’ beliefs in one party or for one candidate, but they can help students find ways to get involved in politics that they are interested in. McCarthy added that influence can come from a student’s home. 

“Kids tend to identify with one party simply because their parents do. This takes away one’s own ability to think on their own and to search within and determine what they believe in and why,” McCarthy said about how kids can start to decide what is important to themt.

Teachers and administration are not the only people encouraging minors to get involved in politics. Students are also pushing for classmates to reach out and get involved and advocate for their beliefs.

“The youth today are still learning the knowledge of history and of our government, and since it’s fresh in our minds we are able to use it,” Amaya Daniels, junior, said. 

Daniels added that there are several ways for students to get involved. Daniels recommends Model United Nations along with other clubs such as Speech and Debate, Political Action Club, and Student Council, all of which have characteristics to teach students more about government. 

Villasana said students should get involved in the presidential election. They can do this by helping a political campaign or doing research as a way to get involved. 

“Our national candidates are constantly getting whittled down because they don’t have enough money to campaign. Most high school students don’t have money to donate, but most have time,” Vilasana said. 

While Daniels argues that there are still a lot more ways students can get involved, she said she has seen an improvement. 

“I see a lot more high school students participating in political movements now, like Girls Strong going to the [women’s] march,” Daniels said. 

If you are interested in women’s rights and want to get involved in it Girls Strong meets on Thursdays.