What are we teaching our children?
As United States citizens, we hold dear the right to vote and the promise of free and open elections. If we do not hold ourselves to these standards, and the standards of freedom of information, the U.S. Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution, what are we teaching our children?
Last night during his keynote speech at YearlyKos, Gov. Dean spoke about the importance of reaching out to the youth. As people get into the habit of voting, they stay in the habit. This afternoon, I listened to a panel about problems with voting suppression. So, when I found the above quote, it caught my attention.
However, the quote wasn’t from an article about voting machines or requirements for photo ids. It was from a Freedom of Information (FOI) complaint filed in Burlington, CT.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Avery Doninger. She was class secretary at Lewis S. Mills High School, but was not allowed to run for reelection because she had referred to the school superintendent as a “douchbag” in a blog post. Her mother is now suing the school.
The Cool Justice Report quotes a student at the school as saying,
"On the day of elections everyone (I mean everyone) wrote in the girls name next to 'Secretary' and circled it. At the end of the day when they had to tell us who won they said that the elections were so close that they were going to give kids who weren't there a chance to vote the next day. The girl who won only had like 7 votes because everyone voted for the girl who wasn't running."
Based on this, he is trying to get a copy of the ballots and there is a lot of legal wrangling back and forth. This was the context for the quote above.
Well, Andy is asking the right question. What are we teaching our children? Perhaps the folks at Lewis S. Mills High School are teaching the right message, after all, in a convoluted manner. They are teaching our children the importance of constant vigilance in defending things that keeps our country strong, like freedom of speech and free and open elections.
I wish all of the students luck in this most important lesson.