October, 25, 2010
By Jason Misner
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, HDSB STAFF
Fifteen-year-old Harrison White can’t vote yet but in three years time, when it becomes his right, he says will be marking a ballot.
Why? Because we are lucky enough live in a democracy, the Grade 10 student says.
“It’s a democracy so we have to get more people’s input to get a group decision,” he says. “I don’t see why you wouldn’t (vote); it’s what you want.”
That sense of democratic freedom was in full force at Burlington Central High School on Thursday October 21 as the secondary and elementary school students participated in Student Vote 2010.
With the help of Student Vote – a non-profit, non-partisan organization working with educators to engage young Canadians in the democratic process – scores of BCHS students lined up at eight voting stations in the Burlington school to “vote” for a mayor, councillor and trustee in the Monday, October 25 municipal election.
The goal was to have every student in the school log a vote.
BCHS Geography and Civics Wendy Fletcher, coordinator of the Student Vote event, says the voting event was well received. She says students did most of the work like making signs, delivering announcements advertisements as well as operating the voting stations.
It took a couple of weeks to get everything ready, she says.
Students seem to have taken the process seriously, Fletcher explains, learning a key right in a democratic society is the right to vote.
“I hear them talk about who they’re going to vote for in the hallways, they’re talking about the candidates, I hear debates going on in the hallways,” the teacher says, adding students have also researched the various candidates to find out who they are and what they promise to do.
“They’re taking that information and sharing it with friends. It’s just been great.”
Fletcher ultimately hopes the students learn two important qualities – caring and voting.
“I hope they learn that it’s important to care, that they learn their vote does count because one vote does make a big difference. I do hope when they become of age to vote, they do understand the process and what’s needed to become educated about the candidates running. Students now have a deeper understanding of their own personal values, why it is important to care for our community, and ways in which they express opinions about important civic matters.”
Results of the Student Vote are expected to be released today (October 25).