Essay Topic: How can our schools move students towards civic responsibility, i.e., becoming voters, increasing awareness of local, state, and national governments and political issues, and understanding the relationship of our history to current situations?
The most important piece of Government legislation, in my generation’s lifetime, is trying to be passed at this very moment and only a small fraction of students in my school know what this legislation is even about. This piece of legislation is the new bill for Healthcare reform and I believe that more students in the state of Alaska would know what this Bill was trying to achieve if our schools moved students more towards civic responsibility.
There are many ways and possibilities to having our schools move students more towards civic responsibility. One way that we can accomplish this is by making U.S. Government a mandatory class that a student must take, in order to graduate. By having the class mandatory, you will ultimately have every high school student be exposed to our Government, each student will know how the local, state, and national Government functions, and each student will even be familiarized with the contemporary political issues in our society today. A U.S. Government class shows students that the Government offers a huge variety of future jobs and careers for up and coming graduates of high school.
Another way that our schools can move students towards civic responsibility is by having a mock election. By having a mock election, you can demonstrate to students how an election works, you can let students know what it is like to vote on a ballot that is modeled after an official ballot, and you can even show students exactly what it is like to become a voter. Also with a mock election, it gets students excited about voting when they become of age.
An additional way of moving increasing civic responsibility for students is to encourage every student in the school to join their school’s student council. Not only is student council a great method of increasing civic responsibility but it also increases student involvement at school. Student council is a very important school group because it can teach students what parliamentary procedure is and how the procedure works. This can make students interested in pursuing a future in politics and it also gives students the chance to participate in AASG, Alaska Association of Student Government. By attending AASG, students can partake in a real and very detailed state meeting consisting of every student council in the state of Alaska. These students also get to see parliamentary procedure at work in an assembly of 300-500 students. This meeting shows students what it’s like to bring resolutions, or student council legislature, to the floor, it let’s these students discuss about the resolution, and they get to participate in a vote on whether or not the resolution should be passed. AASG is a great of way of exposing students to a Government-like process and it is a great to way to advance civic responsibility.
Even though there are many ways that our schools can move students towards civic responsibility and being more politically aware citizens, the best and most effective way of increasing this responsibility is for schools to always encourage their students to be good people, encourage them to be active citizens, and to encourage them to keep being involved in school activities and in their communities.