Students learn about politics through presidential visit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Students learn about politics through presidential visit

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The president's visit to Cedar Rapids gave area schools a first hand civics lesson. Teachers used the opportunity to talk to students about politics, the state of the union address, and even the upcoming election.

For Mr. Dehl's fifth and sixth hour government classes at Waterloo's East High, President Obama took center stage. With the president just fifty miles down the road, Mr. Dehl thought it was perfect time to dive into the political process.

"The great thing about living in America is we have freedom of choice, the Bill of Rights, and we have decisions to make and they're 18-years-old and my job is not to shape or form them, but my job is to inform them of all the decisions they need to make," Dehl said.

Learning about the president and the upcoming Republican nominee will become even more important for these students because many of them will be voting for the very first time in November.

For high school seniors Nataj Kelly and Dustin Weekley learning about politics is something new, but an education worth having.

"I'm glad that government is a required class to take in high school so that way everybody has to take it and have some knowledge on the issues," said Weekley.

"We're young and what we do impacts what the country is doing next," said Kelly.

Most politicians don't direct their message to a younger audience so it's up the teachers to get students involved.

"The political spectrum isn't quiet in touch with the young ones, the very young ones. Those who are in their 20's and 30's yes, the 18 and 19-year-olds, maybe not as in touch," Dehl said.

Mr. Dehl has also been giving students the chance at some extra credit while taking part in the political process. He gives extra credit to students who watch the Republican debates and then write a short essay about them.

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