This evening I received an e-mail from the Pam Bucy campaign about her plans to file for office at one of the administrative offices of the Helena School District, using a collection of high school and middle school students as a backdrop for the media:
To demonstrate the benefits of online access and proficiency, Bucy will file for office online with a group of middle school and high school students. A former prosecutor, Bucy and members of local law enforcement will then demonstrate and test actual online safety curricula with these students to gain feedback for the development and implementation of eSm@rt Kids in middle school classrooms statewide. The curriculum will focus on the ever-changing social media landscape, online predators, and online bullying.
The event will take place at 10:30 tomorrow morning. I’m not sure about other students, but mine will be in third period tomorrow, hopefully learning some critical thinking skills in their English class.
As a teacher, I think that a better message for high school and middle school students might be to stay in school rather than act as props for a political campaign. I also think it’s unlikely that any group of adolescents is going to learn an appreciation for “the benefits of online access and proficiency” by watching someone fill in an online form. I imagine most will be underwhelmed.
Is this a big deal? No, but it’s frustrating—and unnecessary, especially given that students in Helena won’t be attending school this Friday, which would have presented a perfect opportunity for this event, if its real purpose was education, not exhibition.
As a teacher, it also makes me uncomfortable that a school is being using for a transparently political event, especially by a candidate who will need to be upholding the law if elected.