By: James Edwards
FLINT, Mich. — Flint Northwestern High School teachers and staff are taking the necessary measures to make sure that students go out and vote this Tuesday.
While many high school students are going to have to wait four – or possibly eight – more years to vote, teachers and counselors at Flint Northwestern High School are making sure that students who can vote for the first time in 2012 are voting.
“We do not have school on election day,” said English teacher Susan Wolverton. “Students will have the full day to vote.”
English teacher Donelle Ketchum added, “Counselors have been going into classrooms and getting the word out about registering to vote.”
Ketchum also added that announcements were frequently made during school hours to make sure those students who are eligible to vote were registered.
With many first-time voters being uninformed about proposals and candidates on the ballot, and with many being inexperienced in regards to how the voting process works, the high school even brought in someone to help prepare students for voting day.
“We had an assembly and a speaker came and talked to our kids about voting,” said Spanish teacher Jeannine Thomas. “She even gave the teachers a flyer to put in the hallway that had the various proposals for the students to view.”
Aside from just word-of-mouth by counselors and incoming speakers, teachers are taking class time to discuss political issues.
“Northwestern has a daily homeroom called seminar, and in several classes students have discussed the debates,” Wolverton said. “Also, during our writing workshop time in English class, students have selected politics as a topic and write about their thoughts and feelings.”
While the majority of Flint Northwestern students aren’t eligible to vote because of their age, Ketchum is ecstatic about the effort the school has put forward for those who can vote.
“I was surprised and pleased that there was such a concerted effort to inform and prepare them,” she said.
With Flint Northwestern taking several steps to make sure that there students do vote, Thomas hopes that all those who can vote will do so come Nov. 6.
“Every vote counts,” said Thomas. “For people to not exercise their right to vote is ridiculous, especially in a race like this where it’s potentially neck and neck people need to know that their vote matters.”