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Election: A time of tension

Story: Hannah Clark, Staff Writer

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An election always brings various levels of tension with it, and the 2016 presidential election is no different. With Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump fighting against each other, those arguments sometimes trickle down to their supporters. And some of those differences are causing tension within the school.
Conflict over the election broke out between two students during French class last year. One student was talking in favor of Trump’s wall when another student, now senior Alex Perry, stood up against it. The argument was heated.
“I saw Lexi (Alex) stand up on a table and yell at Brian Murray (now Haslett graduate),” senior Conor Jones said.
It ended with Perry leaving the classroom altogether to avoid the situation. “It started as just sort of a casual conversation with what’s happening in the election,” Perry said. “It just got more and more heated with the different political views, and it’s… I don’t want to say frustrating, but it’s hard when you’re talking to someone who has an opposing political view.”
Only a small number of the student body will be able to vote Tuesday, but the election still hangs over the school. Students are wearing clothing that shows their support of a candidate. And cars in the student parking lot sport bumper stickers either attacking or supporting the various candidates.
Senior Conor Jones has a sticker on his car that reads “Hillary for Prison.” “It doesn’t make that big of a deal at least people can show off what they believe in.” Jones said. “I mean I’ve seen Trump for prison bumper stickers and it’s just funny.”
Even though majority of high school students can’t vote, this election is a big deal for the young adults. Whoever is elected as the next president will be setting into place policies that will be in effect as many current students start to make their way in life. The policies made by the elected party will affect them as they leave high school and start to become independent. “We don’t want to take those backwards steps,” Perry said.
While most individuals have a favorite candidate, this election feels different. many people are choosing to support the candidate they hate the least instead of who they like the most. “Now in the election, it’s not who you’d like to be president” senior Tyler Goldberg said, “it’s who you hate the least.”
AP Government and Civics teacher Kathleen Burns is teaching through this tension.
“In AP Gov we do talk about politics, while in civics we try not to,” Burns said.
She found the tension present in the school to be especially evident during the primaries. “You can’t just ask people (in class) who they like,” Burns said. ”But you can ask them why someone did better in the debate than the other person. Then we can talk about it without people getting too emotionally involved.”

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The student news site of Haslett High School
Election: A time of tension