If kids could vote, would they elect Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
This has been an explosive and shocking presidential election. In many ways it’s been ugly and disgusting. And whether parents realize it or not, the kids are paying close attention.
On Wednesday morning the results were released of a nationwide mock election held for kids. Nearly 390,000 students, grade 2 through 12, participated in the mock election with a computer learning tool called Newsela. Newsela has now been used in some capacity by 9 million students in approximately 75% of the nation’s classrooms.
It turns out that, if kids were allowed to vote, they’d elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States. Hillary won the kids election with 57% of the vote. Trump got 32%.
Clinton even won some GOP strongholds including Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. Trump won Ohio.
“The three most important issues to the young people who participated in the mock election mirror the existing national dialogue: Trump’s plan to build a border wall, his controversial language about women and Clinton’s email scandal.”
Many of the kids were clearly repeating things they had heard on TV or from their parents or from a kid on the bus. They said things like “lock her up” and “he doesn’t really like women.”
“Salma Muniz, a 5th grader at Austin’s University of Texas Elementary School whose parents were born in Mexico, said, “I wouldn’t want to vote for him because he wants to make a wall in Mexico and my parents are in Mexico. … It makes me feel sad.”
“Hillary Clinton should be in jail,” said Jacob Mueller, a Trump-supporting 2nd grader in New Jersey. “Because she put secret stuff on her computer and then erased it.”
Third grader Isabella Bonfiglio, from Thomas Richards School in New Jersey, said Trump “doesn’t really like women.””
Teachers are in a really sticky situation this election. Usually presidential elections are great learning opportunities on civics. But this one has been so disgusting and vulgar it’s hard to find the right way to discuss it.
“But the students, especially the younger kids, have definitely picked up on the negative politicking. Alexandra Handzus, who also teaches 2nd grade at the New Jersey school, recounted one of her students saying she knew why kids aren’t allowed to run for president. “She said they’d have to say bad things about each other. That’s the takeaway they have from the election — that that’s a requirement, that in order to get the votes, you have to say something negative about somebody else.””
The moral of the story is kids are paying close attention to this election.
featured image via KinderCare