Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School
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Conversations in the MS
We have been talking about the election in school and will continue to do so for the next many weeks. Democracy is exciting and it requires our informed participation. If this were all, it would be enough. Election season is a civics lesson no matter what, and now is no ordinary election season. There is both urgency and uncertainty. When will we know the results of the election? Will the results be contested? What is the fate of the Supreme Court? What will be the legacy of this pandemic on our national culture, our economy and politics? How will the movement for racial justice grow, change and be answered? This election season has not only raised some new questions, but made the usual questions more pressing. These include, but are not limited to the ones below. I encourage you to use these as starting places for conversations at home.
Is the electoral college fair? The eighth graders attended a web conference hosted by the New York Times today on this topic. You can see an overview of the issue, explained by New York Times Editorial Board Member Jesse Wegman, here.
When is it hard to vote and for whom? What is voter suppression? Last week, over 50 middle schoolers wrote letters of encouragement to low-propensity voters through VOTE FORWARD. If you weren’t able to attend Tuesday evening’s talk about voter rights and voter suppression by Danielle Silber of the ACLU, the recording is here.
What does it look like to exercise one's right to protest and dissent? What is different about the current administration’s characterization of dissent? Why is that important? The middle schoolers have talked about their own and each others’ responses to the prompts in the summer’s Reading About Race assignment - including reflecting on the Black Lives Matter Movement. Some examples are below.
As we talked about in Middle School Meeting this week, early voting begins Saturday. Bring your child with you to the polls if you can do so safely; they will remember this one for a long time.