Students get taste of democracy in action

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 1, 2004

President Bush would win with a comfortable margin Tuesday ifsecond-graders at Mamie Martin Elementary School were the onlyvoters.

Students in Diane McIntyre’s second grade class held a mockelection Friday during an election presentation for their parentsand other guests in the school’s multi-purpose room.

Bush, the Republican incumbent, won, capturing 62 percent, or 13votes out of the class’ 21. Democratic Sen. John Kerry receivedfive votes, and Reform Party candidate Ralph Nader garnered threevotes.

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Brookhaven Mayor Bob Massengill attended the event and praisedthe school faculty for their efforts.

“It’s important for (the children) to understand the politicalprocess, and this is a fun way for them to learn,” he said.

Prior to the actual election, students took turns presentingfacts about the presidency to the audience. Students learned somepertinent information. For instance, KeAnte’ Benjamin told theaudience the president makes $400,000 a year, while Randall Dukesiad the vice president earns $190,000.

They also learned some fun, trivial facts, such as when JuliannaPorter told the crowd that President William Howard Taft was thelast president to keep a cow on the White House lawn. (It was usedfor fresh milk.)

Each presidential candidate was then represented by a studentwho expressed that candidate’s views on the main topics of theelection.

Students then voted, with Porter, Madeline Ezell and RodrickMartin tallying the score.

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lee Barrett said shewas proud of the students for their role in promoting the vote andthe performance they gave.