Whatever you do, Florida teachers, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT try to educate your own students. Especially if you’re trying to teach them to participate in democracy. Specifically, responsible, eager kids involved in student government who are dedicated to pro-active leadership. And particularly about how to get out there and, you know, register to vote so they have an actual say in what happens in their own lives.
That’s wrong. Very wrong.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH — The teacher who heads up New Smyrna Beach High School’s student government association could face thousands of dollars in fines. Her transgression? Helping students register to vote.
Prepping 17-year-olds for the privileges and responsibilities of voting in a democracy is nothing new for civics teachers, but when Jill Cicciarelli organized a drive at the start of the school year to get students pre-registered, she ran afoul of Florida’s new and controversial election law.
And we here at TPC know about those nasty little new election laws, don’t we? If you follow the News-Journal link, you can read about Florida’s… because they care so much about non-existent voter fraud that they’re making it difficult for legitimate voters to…. vote.
See? Irony isn’t dead.
Before you ask, yes, the ACLU is suing.
The problem was that the teacher didn’t register with the state before helping the students, and she failed to submit the necessary forms on time. Of course, that is a deterrent, and that’s the point.
Students tend to vote Democratic, and in Florida, apparently that is simply unacceptable. The answer in that state and so many others? Suppress the vote with superfluous laws that target the poor, students, the elderly, minorities, and rural voters. It’s all the rage!