BLADENSBURG, MD– Election Day came early to Bladensburg High School as the school hosted its second annual town hall debate and mock elections in March. One month prior to the big debate, students in Justin Ralston’s Local-State-National (LSN) Government class were divided into five political parties and one independent group.
Each student was randomly assigned to represent a political party, including the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Communists, Independents and the Green Party. Students in ninth through twelfth grades served as candidates, campaign managers, speechwriters, publicists, public relations officers and policy researchers.
Each team worked together to create a full presidential campaign. Students were responsible for making sure that the candidate’s political views were clear to constituents in addition to writing informed speeches for the candidate to give; creating campaign signs, video commercials, and posters; researching public opinion about their candidate, topics and policies to prove their candidate was the best choice.
“I wanted students to be able to showcase their talents and to help instill an idea in their minds that they do have a voice, people will listen, and government needs their participation,” said Ralston. “Our students have far more potential than many people realize, including themselves. It is my job as a teacher to help each student realize their true potential. Once I have done this, I have done my job.”
On Election Day, parents, staff and students gathered to listen to the candidates and ask questions on their views. Attendees completed a paper ballots.
The winners of the town hall debate included Rolando Nugent and Omar Luna, Democrats; Kendya Reyes, Libertarians; Diamond May, Republicans.
Co-teachers Russell Croteau and Avis Matthews-Davis worked with Ralston and his students on the project.
For more information on this topic, please contact (301) 952-6001 or email@example.com. Follow Prince George's County Public Schools on Twitter: @pgcps and @pgcpshite.