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Student Voices responses: Young people in politics

§ May 27th, 2014 § Filed under Current Events, Elementary School, English Language Arts, High School, Journalism, Media criticism, Middle School, NIE News, Student Voices § No Comments

Check out what some local students had to say in response to page 19 of the April 3 Boston Herald Smart Edition article "A high school senior, and selectman, too" and the prompt below:

Patrick Reynolds just turned 18 and is still a senior in high school, and he was just voted town selectmen of North Attleboro. Reynolds raised his own campaign money, went door to door, and asked his friends and their parents to vote for him, winning the town’s 4-way election. What are some of the benefits of having a young person in a position of leadership in politics? How can young people become more interested and involved in politics?

"The newly elected town selectman of North Attleboro, Patrick Reynolds, is 18 and still in high school. Having a young person like Reynolds in office can greatly benefit politics. For starters, I think it helps more young people understand politics when they see someone their own age in a leadership position. It also gives us hope that even though we are young, our ideas are still heard and respected. Speaking as a college student, I sometimes find politics to be centered on keeping policies the same as they always have been as opposed to understanding that we need to change and adjust with the times. For instance, political discussion in school has lately revolved around the first African American President or the possibility of the first woman President. While I do agree that some policies and laws should remain the same, in today’s world times are changing and politicians like Patrick Reynolds will only help more individuals come to terms with that. In my opinion, young people really do want to understand politics and be involved in change. I strongly agree that 18 year old Patrick Reynolds will greatly serve his town of North Attleboro. Although he may be the first selectman to not have a high school degree, his victory is well deserved. He had to raise his own campaign money and canvas door to door, all while worrying about exams and keeping a social life. I can only hope that Reynolds’ new position will help more young people come to understand politics and become interesting in contributing to change. This will help our future generations adapt to change much easier and not be afraid to speak up and get involved."

-Lindsay Costa, Salem State University

Thank you to all of the teachers and students who participated.

May will be the last round of Student Voices for the school year. Check out the prompt about regulations on e-Cigarettes here and submit to by Friday, May 30.

Student Voices Writing Prompt #5

§ May 9th, 2014 § Filed under Current Events, Elementary School, English Language Arts, High School, Journalism, Middle School, Student Voices § No Comments

May will be our last round of the Student Voices writing contest for the school year, so please don't hesitate to participate! It's a great opportunity for students, and it's easy!

First, have students read the article “Boston official: curb use of e-cigs” here or on page 10 of the May 1 Smart Edition.

Then, give them the following prompt to answer in 300 words or less:

Boston's Chief of Public Health recently went before the FDA in Washington, DC to push for stronger regulations on electronic cigarettes. Makers of e-Cigarettes claim that their products help people quit smoking, but this has not been scientifically proven. Lawmakers also worry that the packaging and labeling of e-Cigarettesappeal to children and teens and that they may be a gateway to smoking for minors. Do you think there should be tougher regulations on e-Cigarettes? Explain why or why not.

Email responses to Brianne Costa at by Friday, May 30.

Please include a photo of each writer with a copy of this media release form signed by a parent or guardian.

Students’ responses will be posted on the NIE blog. One student will be published in the print Boston Herald newspaper in early June.

Any questions? Please contact Brianne Costa at or call 617-619-6220.