Elementary students rock the vote
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
November 06, 2012 01:00 AM | 5163 views | 26 26 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Second grader Jai'Vyera Stevenson, 8, holds her official ballot as she waits in line for the next available voting booth to make her choice. <br> Photo by Laura Moon
Second grader Jai'Vyera Stevenson, 8, holds her official ballot as she waits in line for the next available voting booth to make her choice.
Photo by Laura Moon
slideshow
 First-grader Nolan Baccam, 6, receives his ballot after standing in line at Sedalia Park Elementary as students, teachers and staff vote for the next president of the United States. <br> Photo by Laura Moon
First-grader Nolan Baccam, 6, receives his ballot after standing in line at Sedalia Park Elementary as students, teachers and staff vote for the next president of the United States.
Photo by Laura Moon
slideshow
From left, Sedalia Park Elementary School fifth-graders Jack Casey, as Vice President Joe Biden; Micaiah Williams, as President Barack Obama; and Ashton Cordisceo, as vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan; watch as voters make their choice. <br> Photo by Laura Moon
From left, Sedalia Park Elementary School fifth-graders Jack Casey, as Vice President Joe Biden; Micaiah Williams, as President Barack Obama; and Ashton Cordisceo, as vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan; watch as voters make their choice.
Photo by Laura Moon
slideshow
MARIETTA — The results are in, and the students of Sedalia Park Elementary elected Barack Obama for president, with 574 votes (76%) over Mitt Romney, who won 183 votes (24%).

Sedalia Park’s academic coach Susan Thompson said the school often holds mock elections, but stepped up the efforts this year.

Four students from the fifth grade were selected by their teachers to portray the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

On Friday, the four met in a mock debate that was broadcast to the rest of the student body. Yesterday, they walked the halls on the “campaign trail,” before students cast their ballots.

Micaiah Williams portrayed President Barack Obama; Jack Casey was Vice President Joe Biden; Andrew Fedderson was Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney; and Ashton Cordisco was Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan.

Micaiah said he took notes on the televised presidential debates and studied Obama’s hand motions.

“Easier (topics) for me were the economy and taxes and the harder ones were health care and Medicare,” he said.

Jack said Biden was “probably one of the easiest candidates” to impersonate.

“He is funny, not always the serious guy, which I respect and I like that,” he said. “I enjoyed pretending to be a vice president, that was the coolest part.”

Andrew, who played Mitt Romney, said he too watched the televised debates.

“I looked at several websites and watched the debates and took notes,” he said, adding that he “also got some help from my peers.”

Ashton said his research on Ryan was both hard and easy because he couldn’t understand a lot of the terminology candidates were using.

“I learned that he’s really good — I mean really, really good — with math,” he said.

The students also practiced a lot with their parents, and Casey said USA Today’s candidate match game was “extremely helpful” for him.

Their debate Friday morning lasted about 15 minutes. Each presidential candidate was asked to voice their candidates’ opinions on jobs, defense and the environment, and each vice president candidate spoke about immigration and health insurance.

Academic coach Thompson said the teachers tried to pick topics the kids would be interested in.

“They came up with exactly what they were going to say,” she said. “There were some really nice pieces in there where they would kind of jab each other a bit but were much more polite than what is actually seen on TV. They did a great job!”

The debate was mediated by the fifth-grader Shaylon Walker, who said it’s very important for voters to learn as much as they can about the elections.

“If you don’t know what to look for, you might be putting yourself in the wrong hands and if our country falls into a bad situation and we can’t get out, you might regret your vote,” Shaylon said. “You want to make sure that you got the right vote for what you think.”

Thompson said the four mock candidates agreed that they liked some aspects from each of the candidates and thought better candidates would be “Rombama” and “Bryan.”

“I thought it was really insightful that they wished they could merge the candidates and that would have been the best choice for our country,” Thompson said. “Even though they feel strongly about the person they are portraying and the person they would vote for, there are issues on either side that they also felt strongly about wishing they could tweak and share each others’ opinions.”

At the polling location in the media center, fourth graders manned the polls, while third-grade students did live updates on the campaign through the school’s closed-circuit television station.

Students in all grades of the K-5 school were allowed to create an identification card, sign a registration form, and then cast a ballot.

“The entire school came together to support this,” Thompson said. “You almost wish this little microcosm could be multiplied for our country to come together like that, because it was a beautiful thing.”
Comments
(26)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
jpinatlanta
|
November 07, 2012
It is the process, not the outcome that is important here. I wonder if the outcome had been different (Romney winning rather than Obama), would there have been ANY negative comments. This is one of the best ways kids could learn about real world issues like an election. Can we leave your partisan politics out of the process?
NJR711
|
November 07, 2012
I am so happy to see our youth learning the democratic process, regardless of the outcome.

I remember doing this in my elementary school. My friends and I have been voting since the year we turned 18 because of the enthusiasm we have for the process.

And to the negative posters, it is likely the kids just voted as their parents would but these children will develop their own political opinions over time. Many political issues are a bit too adult to be addressed in school so of course these kids don't have the full picture; The important part is that they learned to research the candidates and play an active role in the process.
SeeTheGreaterGood
|
November 07, 2012
It saddens me that so many people have seen the negative perspective on this "mock" election. What about the students learning about the candidates? What about them learning about the election process? These are very positive points. This is why this activity was planned. If you can not see this, then you are very narrow minded and need to get a life!
Bro Thomas
|
November 06, 2012
Oh come on folks, no the truth - our society is stupid. We've raised our kids to know who Honey Boo Boo is and look at the pathetic fat smokers who popultae our emergency rooms and Walmart. Obama will win because he promises stuff to satisfy the selfish population. We are seeing the rapid end of our once great country.
SedaliaParkMom
|
November 06, 2012
To those commenters who are focusing on the outcome of this mock election: you are missing the point of this educational exercise. This was an excellent way for the children to learn about civics and government in a tactile and experiential way. Kudos to Sedalia Park for encouraging learning outside of the classroom.
anonymous
|
November 06, 2012
So why did I even need to vote today if we alredy knewe the outcome?
just saying
|
November 06, 2012
the pictures tell the story
30067 resident
|
November 06, 2012
awesome! good to hear! it's about time Cobb County!
Patriot2012
|
November 06, 2012
This article makes me sick. You decided to pick one of the most liberal areas in the area. I am sure that the parents or lack there of, have brainwashed their children to believe that all Republicans are racist, violent white males. The parents and the liberal teachers are obviously not well versed on history. They seem to forget.. Abe Lincoln ( Republican), George Wallace (liberal, racist, Governor of Alabama). I can go on and on, but the liberals who read this are too close minded to understand that the Democratic Party keeps racism alive, does not value an innocent life, are anti-military,

unethical, immoral (one of their biggest supporter the black panthers fall under all of that). May God bless this country.
Cobb mom
|
November 06, 2012
My children attended this school and it is one of the best I've seen. Regardless of the results of their election, it is a good thing for these kids to see our election processes at work. Yes, as someone said, many kids learn their politics at the dinner table- I know that's how I started out. I am very saddened by your negativity. I too hope that God will bless our country and I pray that we can all learn to work together for the good of all. (and for the record, I consider myself to be very conservative as my kids will attest).
ECP
|
November 06, 2012
That's a nice way to slam students for learning the process, or are you afraid that young people may learn the process? After all, less than 60% of voters in Georgia are now white. BTW, I am white, not that it matters.
Anonymous4250
|
November 06, 2012
It's people like you who make me ashamed to call myself an American, with your bigoted comments and narrow views of parents, teachers, and students at a school that you know absolutely nothing about. The children that participated in this mock debate are all Target students, in the top of their class, and spent many weeks studying the issues. I am very proud of all them, they did a fantastic job. More mature are they at ten years of age than you ever will be.
who cares?
|
November 06, 2012
The article is highlight the teaching of civic duties to children. I have to say, it was far more entertaining then the "who will win?!?" headline on every other news site.

It worries me that a politically inconsequential article on the MDJ site can elicit such negative comments about our teachers.

Good for the teachers for teaching civics and thank you to the MDJ for the article.
G.W.
|
November 06, 2012
76% Obama, 26% Romney. That's some 'fuzzy math' folks. Someone needs to investigate that school for some hanging chads.
zincky
|
November 06, 2012
Where did you find your facts?- the article does not say that.
Speckled Bird Man
|
November 06, 2012
No votes for Gary Johnson?!?! I guess teaching our children to think outside of the box and consider a third party candidate is not kosher in these public institutions. It reminds of what Roger Waters said about some teachers molding children into mindless drones of society.
Watcher...
|
November 06, 2012
This article did not deserve placement on page one of the MDJ.
ECP
|
November 06, 2012
Oh, but it did warrant such placement. It is what is happening in our county. You did great work with this MDJ.
Duh, Obama Wins?
|
November 06, 2012
Yet another example of why these little tykes should be in school...for the rest of their lives!
Chuckling Chucky
|
November 06, 2012
Wow, 76% to 26%...who teaches math at that school? It's good to learn that our teachers are indoctrinating the students so thoroughly. The only thing more egregious than the mock election was the MDJ putting it on the front page instead of the entertainment section where it belonged.
Zincky
|
November 06, 2012
Where did you see 76% and 26% ? It says 76 % and 24% - that clearly = 100% Who taught you to read?
Common Sense
|
November 06, 2012
Awww...how cute! Our liberal brainwashing schools are teaching our kids to vote Democrat. What are the demographics at the school again? We know better. Parents...just be sure you're teaching the correct politics at the dinner table.
anonymous
|
November 06, 2012
Then, by that logic, at Due West Elementary, where the result of the mock election was Romney won by a landslide, it is a conservative brainwashing school teaching our kids to vote Republican?
Old timer
|
November 06, 2012
These kids HAVE probably learned politics at the dinner table. As a retired teacher I will,say, kids always vote like parents until about 18. Then they think they know way more.
ECP
|
November 06, 2012
I teach my kids at the table. I live in East Cobb, and teach them that they can vote based on what they believe, not based on SES and demographics of the area. I live in East Cobb, not for politics, but because i like the area. That doesn't mean I can't vote Democratic. So, yes I am teaching my kids correct politics at the dinner table. They just don't happen tone your politics. How is that incorrect?
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides