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High school teacher talks election in class: ‘Real life experiences, best way to teach'

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:44 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado Springs high school government teacher says his students are all about the election this year, and with that enthusiasm has come stress.

“I was pleasantly surprised as to how many talk about this at home,” said Robert Duensing, Doherty High School U.S. government teacher. “This is part of their daily lives, which also creeps into them becoming a little stressed."

Duensing explained, that stress likely comes from students knowing the election is more than homework.

“They are directly impacted by this election. They’re directly impacted when they go home and talk about it on social media. They’re impacted by the results of this election, and so it’s invaluable, when these events occur every four years.”

Students debate ballot issues and candidates, which Duensing says has gone surprisingly well on video chat because of the shift to e-learning. For assignments, students research both sides of issues on the secretary of state’s website and other sources. For one assignment, they were tasked with researching how funding impacts campaigns. Duensing also said he does not censor the class, meaning even sensitive items like Proposition 115, pertaining to abortion laws, are discussed.

“They were dialed in and so interested, asking questions, the passion they have, it’s fantastic to see it,” Duensing adds.

Students were also challenged to apply to be election judges. More than 100 applied and 32 were accepted. They’ve also expressed being excited to vote.

"We are preparing the next generation of voters, " Duensing adds. “These kids leave Doherty knowing that they can be election judges, they can participate in more than just voting in the future,”

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