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Pirtle Elementary School Rocks the Vote!

Democracy was in action on Election Day at Pirtle Elementary School as third graders rocked the vote in a mock election.

Students had the opportunity to select the next Senator from Texas and ended up splitting the vote with 63 third graders choosing Ted Cruz and 63 selecting Beto O’Rourke; however, there was more debate and a consensus made on an important proposal, one extra hour of recess.

“I am for it because, at recess, you can play tag and run,” said London Lynn, 9 , of the proposed added hour. “You get lots of energy from it.”

The caveat to additional recess time though was students would have to stay afterschool for one more hour. This extra time away from home was enough to influence Aralina Acosta, 8, to vote no. “I want to go home because I like to finish my homework,” Acosta said.

Resounding cheers echoed in the library as the final vote was revealed with 69 for and 64 against.

A student casting her vote.

The mock elections were part of a social studies lesson facilitated by Kayte Ricketts, Bell County Museum’s Education Coordinator. Students were taught about Texas’ first female governor, Miriam A. Ferguson, as well as the three branches of government and political parties. Afterward, heads were bobbing along as the famous 1976 School House Rock cartoon and song “I’m Just a Bill” played.

Just before voting, students designed their own campaign buttons that expressed their positions on the recess bill. These are seasoned voters too, as this third grade class previously participated in a mock election during 2016, choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They look forward to further exercising their civic duty come 2020.

Joshua Wucher
November 6, 2018