Our Stories

Students Speak Out – An Election Project Update

September 29, 2016 by Janet Collier (Faculty and Staff)

As students delve into their grade-specific issues for our Election Project, they’ve also been exploring the question of whether adults should listen to the opinions of children when it comes to these important issues and the election in general. We asked the children: “You can’t vote, but should you have a voice in this process?” Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes, with evolving viewpoints up through the grades. Find out what our children have to say…

On Children having a Voice in the Election

“Adults should listen to kids because if you can’t express your opinions by voting, how else can you?” – 2nd Grader

“We are all human beings, so we should all get to have our opinions, so adults should listen to us.” – 2nd Grader

“Children have their own opinions.” – 3rd Grader

“We are part of the United States. This is our nation, too.” – 3rd Grader

On Differences between Adults and Children

“Grown-ups may not have noticed some things, and kids are good at noticing stuff.” – 3rd Grader

“Grown-ups can overthink things.” – 3rd Grader

On the Importance of Listening

“Adults don’t have to follow what the kids say, but they should listen to them.” – 4th Grader

“If it [a child’s opinion] is really strong but different, they should at least take it into account.” – 4th Grader

“If you say something meaningful, they might want to listen.” – 5th Grader

“We’re part of the country and should also get a voice and at least get to say what we think” – 5th Grader

On the Role of Children in Society

“They should know how it affects a child’s daily life.” – 4th Grader

“If candidates know what children think, that might help improve what they’re doing and make the world better for kids.” – 5th Grader

“The campaigns are focused on making the world better but aren’t focused on kids.” – 5th Grader

On the Value of Children’s Perspectives

“We’re younger, so we think differently.” – 4th Grader

“We don’t know as much, so we’re looking at it with fresh minds, not as registered Republicans or Democrats.” – 4th Grader

“Kids have a different point of view.” – 5th Grader

“Listening to kids might change their perspective.” – 5th Grader

On the Importance of Informed Opinions

“It can’t be a random opinion. You have to have some knowledge.” – 5th Grader

“If you’ve done enough research, you could try to turn people in a particular direction.” – 5th Grader

On Children Focusing on Their Future

“What they do affects kids’ futures.” – 5th Grader

“They’re not going to live in the world as long as we are.” – 5th Grader

“The candidate that the adults elect now will affect us as we grow up, so we should have some say.” – 6th Grader

On Children’s Capacity to Think Deeply and Engage with the World

“We know more than they think.” – 6th Grader

“People think we don’t have thoughts [on the issues] or don’t care.” – 6th Grader

“We should have a say because we really want to learn more about it. We can help shape our future to be what we want it to be.” – 6th Grader