Vitriolic political season prompts Long Island school to cancel mock election

CENTEREACH, Long Island (WABC) -- Presidential elections have been always been a subject of great interest for students and teachers, even at the elementary level. But this year, it's been a struggle for educators, many of whom have had to change tactics.

As a result, a traditional mock election at Jericho Elementary School in Centereach will look very different this year.

Adults aren't the only ones who've been getting in heated discussions about the presidential candidates. Kids have been too, and often at school.

"Some people were getting angry because some people like Trump and some people like Clinton," fifth grader Miranda Waters said. "Some people think Clinton's not good. Some think Trump's not good. So there's a lot of arguments going on, and I don't like that."

A lot of people are arguing about the topic, which is why those at Jericho Elementary decided to cancel the school's mock election.

"Children in the cafeteria would bring up things about minorities and the voting and the candidates," principal Glen Rogers said. "And there were some negative things said."

Instead, this Friday, students will be voting for their favorite school lunch.

"We wanted to think of something where students could have the experience of voting in preparation for Election Day," Rogers said. "So at least they would be excited about voting for something."

It's not that the teachers have been avoiding talking about the candidates, they're just doing it in the classroom where they're better able to address questions and concerns.

"We're actually going to have our own class president in our class," teacher Kate McDonald said. "So they're taking some of the highlights that they learned from the candidates out there now, the positive ones, and trying to implement them into the classroom."

Politics aside, no one can argue this hasn't been one interesting election season.
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