Politics have permeated the Laguna community over the past few weeks. As the Republican primaries launched, AP Government students developed political platforms of our own.
We worked in two groups, and Troy Ritter and I were nominated as the presidential candidates. Our teams designed new political parties and brainstormed solutions to our society’s most pressing economic, environmental, and social problems (read our ideas on page 4). With posters in hand, we campaigned on campus to gain support from our peers.
On Election Day, each of us gave a 3-minute speech and shared our campaign videos with the Upper School. In spite of sustaining a serious leg injury the night before Election Day, Troy performed admirably and was elected to the presidency of the United States (well, at least of AP Government for the day). Congratulations, Troy!
Ms. Elliott’s AP Government class also traveled to Simi Valley to hear Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice of the United States, speak at the Ronald Reagan Library (see page 1). Justice O’Connor has dedicated her life to educating young people about our government.
While low civic engagement is rampant across all sectors our society, this trend is particularly apparent in my generation. “Only a quarter of students show any kind of proficiency of knowledge in civics. Only seven percent of eighth graders can identify the three branches of government,” Justice O’Connor told us.
If we do not engage in our political system, our government cannot adequately represent young people’s interests. We must educate ourselves; we must voice our opinions.
Laguna’s graduating class will have the right to in the 2012 Presidential Election (excluding the youngest member of our class, Alex Louden). Through activities such as the recent mock-election and from Ms. Elliott’s frequent reminders, Laguna has ingrained in us that it is our civic duty to vote. I encourage the Class of 2012 to continue to develop their understanding of government as we approach Election Day.
Editor in Chief