By: Flynn Lloyd | Editor in Chief
26 October 2018
As teenagers, the effects of elections and the current political and economic atmosphere aren’t always directly impacting our day to day lives. Most students feel disconnected from politics and are uneducated on current issue because, up until recently, our parents have managed the issues concerning politics. Voting seems like an adult task, but in reality, the age minimum of 18 allows for many high school students to participate in local, state, and national government.
“I think its really awesome that as citizens, that we have a say in our democracy and I think it’s something that shouldn’t be taken advantage of, which is why I’m registered to vote,” San Clemente High School senior Sam Bregman said. “I care about what’s going on in our country and am aware of growing issues and can show support for change by voting in November.”
Students at San Clemente and many other high schools around the nation avoid discussing politics or getting involved because they assume it doesn’t concern them, or that it will only stir controversy. Triton Times urges students to question the status quo, stir the pot, and get involved as it affects them more than they typically believe.
United States citizens are lucky to live in such a democratic system of government that allows citizens to participate in government functions at all levels. Obtaining this privilege as a senior in high school can seem daunting, but it only takes a little research and confidence to become involved in progressive and important change. Voting for the right candidates and policies can help shape the future of our government and help progress certain issues. Voting merely allows citizens to express what they think should be fixed and take simple action for a better future.
“I think if you can vote you should because it’s one of the main ways we have our voices heard in the government,” senior Rhiannon Yanda said “Also it’s one of the liberties that we are lucky to have as Americans.”
With a very polarized current political atmosphere, students’ reluctance to become involved is understandable if they are uninformed or moderate; however, that isn’t to say that students should shy away from voting for people who will make policies that improve our affordable education, social welfare, and ability to obtain jobs. Politics are more prominent in young adults lives then some imagine, and it’s important to make sure our voice is heard as the next generation.
Expressing one’s political views in high school is not illegitimate. On campus, many students feel uncomfortable expressing political views in fear of judgement, but it’s important to be comfortable in personal beliefs without feeling scrutinized by others.
Recently, Triton Times officially endorsed former students Jackson Hinkle and Jake Rybczyk in their democratic campaign for city council and you can view their positions. Both Hinkle and Rybczyk are two students who were brave and strong-willed enough to pursue a larger influence in government and the changes they want to see.
Registering to vote can take up to 10 minutes. On campus, multiple teachers, including Ms. Shick, would love to help a student register to vote if one is struggling or doesn’t know exactly where to start. We are lucky right now to have multiple adults to talk to and to refer to in our first steps towards becoming fully involved and independent citizens. Whether a student is a Republican, Democrat, undecided, or other, the city ballot has candidates who are advocating issues that they can align themselves with. Although this nearest election seems less prominent than Trump’s twitter outbursts, or Hillary’s email accusations, the city council directly affects us and our lives more than the Presidential election does.
We are a community and our generation should have a prominent say in how our city should be shaped for the future. Students of San Clemente, who are eligible, should take on the responsibility that we have to our city and to our nation, and vote. It can only benefit the ways in which we live our lives and the ways in which our communities grow.