Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina worries mock elections will cause problems with bullying.
The nasty 2016 presidential race may be too hot to handle for city school kids.
Schools chancellor Carmen Fariña said Wednesday she’s worried children will get bullied if schools hold a mock election this year.
“My concern about mock elections this year goes back to bullying,” she said. “Unless this is done right, this could be something else that is going to create more contention.”
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) asked the schools boss to conduct a mock election and let kids cast ballots for their presidential favorites as a way to boost civic engagement.
“It turns out that voting is hereditary trait, and social science has shown if parents take their kids to vote, they’re more likely to vote himself,” he said.
But Fariña was reluctant to endorse the idea, though she said she shares the same goal.
Donald Trump’s campaign has inspired bullying at some schools around the country.
“What I don’t want to see is kids using what they hear at home against each other, and that’s the bottom line. But in terms of having discussions about voting, I’m a big believer,” she said.
Donald Trump’s campaign has inspired bullying at some schools around the country, including an Indiana high school where kids chanted “Trump” and “Build that wall” at students from another school that is largely Hispanic.
Farina didn’t specify whether Trump’s rhetoric was the source of her bullying worries, but suggested the climate of the current election speaks for itself.
“I think that if you watch TV, you’ll have to wonder a little bit,” she said. “But that’s up to parents to decide for their own kids how they want to handle this at home.”
She noted high schools are conducting voter registration, pushing to get 20,000 teens signed up to cast real ballots, and encouraged more City Council members to bring teens into elections where they choose projects to fund in their neighborhoods.
“I think we should be talking about elections all the time,” she said. “But I just think whatever we do in our schools needs to be done very intelligently, very balanced.”