Story by Abby Beauregard, Trey Rice, and Sam Aaron

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Photo by Sam Aaron

As the race for president grows more heated, students taking government and economics are taking advantage of opportunities to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom.

“Many people think politics is boring and it’s one of the most important things in their lives because it affects their daily lives,” Government teacher Laurie Humphrey said.

What students learn in the course often translates directly into their understanding of not only how government functions, but how and why politics in general have developed.

“Well for me, it’s helped me learn so much about how our government works and the reasoning behind all the political debates. Right now that is extra important because of the presidential election that is coming up,” senior Anna Wolverton said.

For many students, it’s not enough just to watch the news. There are many ideas and policies that require instruction to understand.

“Government’s a really complicated subject and you don’t learn much about it just from watching the news. You learn the surface issues but actually how government works in much more complicated,” senior Jennifer Gee said.

The election is exposing students to information through policy speeches, statements and debates, like last Wednesday’s Republican debate on CNN.
“I did watch the Republican debate and it was funny because while I was watching it I realized how many times I was thinking ‘that’s not constitutional’ and ‘that can’t really work the way they are saying it it can,” senior Kevin Gagnon said.

For many, the class requires that they pay attention to current events for the first time in their academic careers.

“I’ve been a lot more aware of current events. I’ve always listened to the radio but I never really paid attention,” Jennifer said.

The class provides context to the news, helping students develop opinions about how they think the country should be run.

“I think it’s important to take government because without government we wouldn’t understand how our leader should be working and what decisions need to be made for the country,” Kevin said.

The course puts an emphasis on current events and politics that many students, a topic that many students don’t understand or have experience with and allows them to participate in democracy for the first time.

“It’s important to learn about all these current issues so that I can know where I stand with them and then be able to pick the candidate that I think fits what our country needs. That’s why it is important to take government and economics,” Anna said. “It teaches you enough to form your own opinion so that you can become a contributing and active citizen for our country, which is what America really needs.”