Florida educators see teachable moment in election recounts

Florida educators see ‘teachable moment’ in election recounts

As recount continues, BTU offers curriculum focused on democratic process, civic engagement

FORT LAUDERDALE — Broward educators, supported by students, school board members and PTA members, today came together to propose a draft civics curriculum for Florida students that uses the current recount as a ‘teachable moment,’ and emphasizes the importance of voters in the democratic process.

“My generation continues to see the strength of our democracy tested, and it’s more important than ever that our classrooms teach students that everyone has a voice and a vote,” said Mei-Ling Hoshing, a student at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “As the rhetoric in Florida escalates, students should have a clear understanding of the efforts that take place to ensure every vote cast is counted.

Students across the state have been learning about the nation’s democratic process and following elections closely in their classrooms. Children are now questioning the value of voting and teachers have expressed concern over how the recounts taking place in the races for governor, U.S. Senate, and agriculture commission will impact the next generation of voters. Educators hope that introducing a curriculum that cuts through the noise and hyperbole surrounding the recounts will help students better understand the democratic process that is playing out in the state.

“As candidates and campaigns try to score political points in the news by making unsubstantiated claims about voting in Florida, students have expressed doubt about our democratic process,” said Richard Judd, a government teacher at Nova High School in Davie, Florida. “This civics curriculum allows educators to address those concerns head-on, and encourages our students to be active citizens.”

The draft lesson plan is not only a response to the current election recounts, but also builds upon long-time efforts to ensure that every Florida child receives a quality civics education.

“In the aftermath of the general election in Florida, a perfect opportunity exists to make social studies lessons come alive,” said Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco. “Our students need to know that our democracy is predicated upon everyone’s vote being counted. The lesson plans being offered will help teachers at all grade levels do just that!”

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