This election season electrified Americans like no others in recent memory. Adults showed up to vote in record numbers, but perhaps most noticeable was the enthusiasm seen in young people--even those too young to vote. Students around the country held mock elections, ran mock campaigns, and even volunteered their time for real campaigns. Teachers used their excitement as a jumping off point for lessons in politics, race relations, and civic engagement. Now that President-Elect Barack Obama has won the election, the media is seeking student reactions.
Local 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio spoke to students at St. Francis de Sales school. Eighth grader Cammey Clay said, “I feel happy, because I know that for African Americans, anything we put our minds to, we can do it, and Obama put his heart out there and he went for it and he became president. He gave his all and he gave his best.”
In Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Booker T. Washington high school, political science students discussed the social implications of electing Mr. Obama.
“I think it’s going to motivate me to do better,” one student said to ABC Oklahoma affiliate KTUL. “Like I already knew before, but now this is like a push, like if he can do it, anybody can do it. It’s so corny, but it’s true.”
The students’ teacher, Anthony Marshall, is also feeling motivated by Mr. Obama’s victory.
“I slept maybe one or two hours because I was up re-doing lesson plans because it’s raised my bar,” Mr. Marshall told KTUL. “Raised my standards, even as a teacher.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.