Students at Hans Christensen Middle School in Menifee took part in their own Presidential Election this afternoon.
United States History Teacher Annette Williams created a course for her students that she implements every four years.
The course teaches her students age appropriate lessons in the Electoral process.
“This is a chance for the students to let their voices be heard during today’s Presidential Election,” said Williams.
The students began their day by viewing an election bulletin board and were encouraged to watch the debates and conventions prior to casting today’s vote.
In addition to watching the debates on their own the students saw short clips in class for each candidate.
Throughout the day students entered the multi-purpose room, which was set up similar to an authentic polling place.
Every period, each social studies class entered the mock polling center and cast their vote for the next President of the United States.
Williams registered with “My Vote California,” who sent her ballots and “I voted” stickers along with other resources in an effort to make the middle school election look and feel authentic.
Williams created the program on her own. The school district does not require teachers to go beyond the textbook lessons.
“I do this to try to get students excited about politics and to encourage their participation. They are our future voters,” said Williams.
Jordan Spurgeon, an eighth grader, said he learned a lot about the electoral process and how a state’s population affects how many votes they get in determining the next President.
“I learned that I don’t think it’s fair a candidate can win the popular vote but lose in the electoral vote,” said eighth grader Jose Hernandez.
“The students probably know more now about the election process than their parents,” said Betti Cadmus, Menifee Union School District spokeswoman.
Students also learned the importance of checking their facts about the candidates.
One student thought candidate Mitt Romney if voted into office would try to send all illegals and Mexicans back to Mexico.
Some students thought their vote doesn’t really matter and didn’t have faith in their voice being able to make a difference.
Student Lourissa De Leon who helped direct students entering the polling place on where to go said she learned to do fact checking before making an opinion on a candidate.
“My parents don’t influence me a lot on my opinion I get create my thoughts from listening to my friends and the news,” said Lourissa.
Samantha Dallin an eighth grader said: “I now have an interest in running for an office one day.”
The race was too close to call at the time of printing to determine who won the race for the White House at Hans Christensen Middle School.
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.