By Thomas Pippen, DCNF
Rather than vote for presidential nominees Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in a mock election, children at one elementary school will learn about democracy by voting on their favorite school lunch.
A New York elementary school canceled its mock election because some of the kids were making “negative rhetoric about minorities,” and shouting “Trump! Trump! Trump!”
“Teachers have said they’ve heard some kids in the cafeteria chanting ‘Trump! Trump! Trump!’ or saying they don’t want Muslims here,” Glen Rogers, principal of Jericho Elementary School on Long Island, told ABC News affiliate Wednesday.
“Some people think Clinton is not good, some people think Trump is not good. So there were a lot of arguments going on and I don’t like that,” one student told ABC News.
Administrators canceled the mock election this cycle to prevent minority students “from feeling uncomfortable,” Rogers said.
“I mean, kids often repeat what they hear on the TV or the news, but it doesn’t mean it’s OK,” Rogers said. “We have a diverse community here. We want all our students to feel valued.”
“We still thought it was important to do something with voting and showing democracy in action,” Rogers said. “We still want them to get excited about Election Day.”
The students will be taught about the election “in the classroom, where teachers can lead and guide discussions, rather than in the cafeteria among students,” the principal said.
“One thing we’re really trying to teach the students is the differences between opinions and facts,” Rogers said. “It’s important for our students to be able to express their opinions, but it’s also important for them to be informed about it and not just repeating what they happen to hear.”
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