Castaic Middle School to hold mock election for its students

Castaic Middle School

Middle school students will get a taste of what it is like to vote in the general election next week.

Karla de Lemos, a world history teacher at Castaic Middle School, will conduct the mock presidential election through an optional, school-wide Google Form on Castaic Middle School’s Google Classroom site.

“I want them to have a say and I think it’s important for them to voice their opinions,” de Lemos said.

Students will have the ability to vote for any of the 2016 presidential candidates at home or in the classroom from 8 a.m. Monday to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to de Lemos.

De Lemos plans to let students vote in her own classroom before school, during advisory time, during nutrition and for 15 minutes after school.

“The point is that they have to make the effort to do it,” she said.  “We will measure what the voter turnout is and what the results are.”

Students are limited to only one choice and one vote on the Google Form.

Candidate choices will rotate for each student, just as they do for each state’s election ballots, de Lemos said.

At the end of the mock election, de Lemos will tally the percentage of those who voted against those that didn’t, determine the percentages of votes for each party and calculate individual results.

Although many students’ opinions are influenced by their parents, they are beginning to develop their own voices and ideas on the upcoming election, de Lemos said.

“A lot of them through our discussions have shown their passions,” she said.  “They’ve enjoyed being able to talk about it and keeping it in the forefront of their minds is important.”

At Castaic Middle School, students are kept up to date on the news through their own monthly “Current Event” presentations, through a regular CNN Student News broadcast and through a scholastic current events magazine.

“There was an issue in September called ‘The Race to The White House’ and it was a really good issue because it kept a lot of bias out of the article,” de Lemos said.

The magazine discussed the facts of the election and the issues discussed by the candidates.  It also attached two videos about the history of campaigning and the comparison of two political ads from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Overall, the goal of discussing and analyzing the news is to spark students’ interest in current events and inform them of what is going on in the world.

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