JERSEYVILLE - Jersey Community High School government students have been discussing the November 8 midterm elections in class this week.
Ben T. Gracey, the social studies department head/government teacher, said the lesson begins with an examination of what the constitution says about elections and voting. It then goes into further detail about various offices at the national, state, and local levels.
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"These midterm elections have been getting a lot of attention, and we pride ourselves in inculcating a real civic awareness in our student body about such things," Gracey said.
Gracey also explained that the JCHS senior government course provides an in-depth examination of the formulation/meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
"In addition, students examine how the principles of that constitution relate to our modern political system and civic engagement," Gracey said. "We don’t just memorize amendments at JCHS. Our graduating seniors leave here with a better understanding of how we got here than many adults. In fact, we approach it as an ongoing conversation. I tell my students, “I’ll teach you, and then you can teach everyone at home.
"Many of our seniors also take our law class in tandem with government class. Together, the two classes provide our students with a depth of understanding that is unusual for a high school experience."
Gracey said in short, "Our community is blessed to be served by these engaging classes at a time when civics education has been shown to be increasingly marginalized. Is it any wonder that both sides of the aisle complain about our “democracy being in peril”? After all, study after study shows that Americans do not understand even the most basic concepts of our constitutional system."