Harwood students go to the polls - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Harwood students go to the polls

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DUXBURY, Vt. -

Welcome to high school history class.  But it's more than that -- it's America's future.

Katherine Cadwell teaches a class about Democracy at Harwood Union High School. The sophomore class is learning about the rise and fall of the Athenian and Roman Republic, Democracies, and then of course, our own. "The observations about what made the Democracy strong and crumble -- they're astounding how they look at today and learn from the past," Cadwell said.

The heart of Democracy is active citizenship and that's exactly what this school is doing -- through a mock vote. "It's a  tradition because at Harwood. We celebrate student voice and student choice," Cadwell said.

From 7th graders to seniors, 720 students can cast their vote on Vermont's actual election ballot. "It felt really good to exercise my voice because I never got the chance before," said Molly Ferguson, a sophomore.

"It feels like I'm growing up and becoming a productive member of society -- it felt really good," said Asah Whalen, a sophomore.

And although it feels good, it also brought up issues that registered voters have as well. Like not knowing all the candidates on the ballot or what each office does. Students explored the idea of polarized and biased information.

"They have voices -- strong voices. They question and it's their future. They don't want to turn it over to other people. They're going to be informed voters when they're 18," Cadwell said.

"America was built on people voting. The pilgrims wanted a Democracy. When people don't vote it undermines why America was founded," Whalen said.

The students votes will be calculated by Friday. Owning their voice -- and their vote.

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