Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Lesson on Voting Rights

One of my guided reading groups was reading a Time For Kids article on the Iowa caucus and S.C. primary.  The article discussed the Republican frontrunners, the different political parties, and requirements to vote.   Here is the conversation that took place:

Student A: What does "convicted felon" mean?
Me: Someone who has committed a serious crime and is in jail because of it.
Student A: Oh, well my dad can't vote then.  He's in jail.
Student B: My mom is, too.  She can't vote neither.
Student C:  My parents aren't citizens. 
Student D:  Wait, you gotta be a citizen?  That's messed up.  Nobody in my family can vote!
Student E: What is "mentally ill"?  Is that like retarded or something?  My dad's retarded.
Me: (knowing that this child's father is indeed mentally ill) Right, so your dad isn't legally able to vote either.

Do you know how hard it is to teach students about their duty and right to vote when their parents can't vote and many of them won't be able to vote??

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