One by one, students from Metea, Waubonsie, and Neuqua Valley High Schools, got off a bus after spending the last several days in Iowa City for the 2020 Iowa caucuses. Along with three teachers, 45 students from Indian Prairie School District 204 made the trip, which they said was a real eye opener.
What Did Students Learn?
“Before this opportunity I didn’t know what a caucus was,” said Ashi, a senior at Metea Valley. “I remember at the beginning of our government classroom we kind of touched on it, but I didn’t know how it worked. It seemed really chaotic when I got there and even throughout the night I kept learning about a lot of the different things and how you can make a non-viable candidate into a viable one.”
What Did The Students Do?
Students spent their time in Iowa City meeting some of the candidates and even campaigning for them.
“Not going to lie it was really intimidating. Iowa citizens know it’s caucus day, they know they’re about to get a million knocks on the door. You just had to be as polite as possible if you did get an answer,” said Erin, a senior at Nequa Valley. “I was actually one of the lucky groups because out of everyone we got the most door answers and conversations.”
This is the second time students from District 204 have gone to the Iowa caucuses. The goal is for students to learn more about how politics work and to have civil conversations about them.
“All the people who were interested enough to go on this trip understand that politics isn’t a separate subject of study. It’s not its own field, it’s literally everything,” said Maeher, a junior at Waubonsie Valley. “It’s important to understand that if you want to have a healthy approach to our democracy.”
Better to Get it Right Than Wrong
Though difficulties with the process prevented the students from knowing who had won before they left, they agreed it’s better to get the outcome right than rush a wrong result.
“In 2012 Iowa actually made a mistake. They called they primary for Mitt Romney and actually Rick Santorum won,” said Kelli Tufo, a teacher at Metea Valley. “So it’s better they wait until 4 p.m. today, or whenever than to release faulty numbers.”
Young adults learning more about the democracy system, to maybe one day be running it.
Naperville News 17’s, Christian Canizal reports.
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