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LA News Archive The Schoolhouse

Election Class 2016
Posted 11/09/2016 01:00PM

By Grace Harlan '18

Groton, MA -- The 2016 election maintains a controversial reputation - to say the least!

With polar opposite views on almost every critical issue, it was hard to find a middle ground between the candidates.

Luckily for Lawrence Academy students, history chair and longtime teacher, Kevin Wiercinski, reveled in the controversy.

While teaching the election elective during the fall term Mr. Wiercinski grew to be quite the devil’s advocate, showing his students both sides of the presidential spectrum.

The class held 17 junior and senior students and covered more than just the current year’s election. The class' curriculum covered ballot issues, state races, the traditional election process, as well as significant or noteworthy races from the past.

“Most kids feel like this is the craziest election we’ve ever had," said Mr. Wiercinski prior to election day. "So, it’s cool to show them how ugly some of the old ones have been.”

Students were required to role play as campaign managers and secretaries of press in order to develop a mature media literacy.

Beyond the issues the candidates’ debate, the students researched the importance of messaging, money, districting, and other details that are not found in the constitution. Mr. Wiercinski ensured that the students watch all the debates, and the class set up an election center to take an LA poll.

The teacher credited the class' staying power (he's taught it three times, every four years) to two factors.

“The department has really committed themselves to doing it, and keeping it going,” he said. “Also, I find that this is really eye-opening for kids about the way things really are with our elections.”

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