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Grade School Politics

Posted Dec 02 2008 3:05am
The last few days, Claire and Katie have been talking about voting and the election. Since we live in a conservative area, most of what they have been hearing is the name John McCain. Katie informed me that she was voting McCain. Claire hadn ’t made up her mind mostly because she couldn ’t remember the other guy’s name.

Claire told me on Monday that her teacher said that John McCain was going to be our next president. I just told her that I was sorry, but her teacher was wrong. There was a lot of discussion among the 2 nd and 3rd graders at Claire’s school the day after the election. Claire came home with a lot of concerns.

Claire- “Barack Obama is going to take away Christmas.”

Me- “Claire, that is ridiculous. Where did you hear that?”

Claire- “From a 3rd grader, so it’s true.”

Me- “Claire, that is not true. Barack Obama is a dad and he’s nice. Even if he could take away Christmas, he wouldn ’t.”

Claire- “Well, I heard it from a 3rd grader! And she said he’s not smart.”

Me- “He went to Harvard and not just Harvard. He went to law school at Harvard. It’s the best place to go to college and they only let really smart people go there.”

Claire- “I heard that he’s not smart and he blows up buildings and then people don’t have a place to live.”

Me- “That is not true. Don’t you think I know more than a 3rd grader?”

Claire- “No.”

The most disturbing thing she said was that Obama won’t be president for long. She was told that someone would kill him.

I am disgusted that parents would discuss such things either with or in front of their children. I think it’s great to talk about the election process and who the candidates are but that should be the end of it. The overwhelming interest among grade-school children in this particular election makes me uneasy. Even among this age group, some of it reeks of racism.

I think it would be appropriate for the schools to discuss the new president and address the concerns of the kids. Clearly there is misinformation being conveyed in some of the homes that is then being passed on to all of our children. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only parent that does not want children being exposed to ignorance and hatred.

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