Students Vote for Their Future
The results of the 2016 Scholastic News® Student Vote are in. Democrat Hillary Clinton has been declared the winner.
The former Secretary of State garnered 52 percent of the vote among students in K-12 around the country; 35 percent of students chose Republican businessman Donald Trump, while 13 percent of young voters opted for “other,” including Spider-Man, Kanye West, and Mom.
In our “exit polls,” students expressed mixed feelings about the candidates. “I wouldn’t want either of them,” said a fifth grader from Marietta, Georgia.
Scholastic has held a nationwide mock election every presidential election year since 1940. To date, young readers have been wrong only twice: In 1948, they chose Dewey over Truman and, in 1960, they gave Nixon more votes than Kennedy.
Since the school year began, teachers have been explaining the workings of democracy to their young charges. The perils of doing so have been greater than ever, with headlines that seem best suited for the National Enquirer.
Indeed, many voters will be relieved to see the presidential race come to an end. But the challenges facing the United States aren’t going anywhere.
What lies ahead for the next president? Second graders in Dana McDonough’s classroom in Newburgh, New York, have quite a wish list: “Make the Earth clean, build more schools around the globe, and put a computer on every desk in every classroom in the country.”
What would the students do if they were elected president? “Make it rain candy, allow kids to have soda, and make new toys.”
The second graders also have advice for the person who will be sitting in the Oval Office in 2017 and beyond.
Of all the shocks to the system this campaign season, imagine that seven- and eight-year-olds have only known an African American president and a woman accepting a major party’s nomination, putting “the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.”
As a sixth grader from Phoenix, Arizona, said, “I voted for Hillary because [she] will be the first woman president. America should be happy women are running for president. Over the years, women were thought of as weak. But Hillary is showing all women, young or old: you can do anything.”
Drawing by a student at Fostertown ETC Magnet School in Newburgh, New York