Government students, teachers plan debate
for US House District 3 race

Government+teacher+Rod+McCall%2C+left%2C+stands+with+%0Athe+moderators%2C+candidates%2C+and+students%2C+who+helped+organize+the+District+Court+Seat+219+voting+preview+event+last+February.+This+year%27s+students+are+working+toward+hosting+another+event+in+October+featuring+the+democratic+and+republican+candidates+for+the+U.S.+House+District+3+race.+The+group+has+yet+to+get+both+candidates+on+board+yet%2C+though.%0A%E2%80%9CMy+involvement+with+this+event+last+year+was+really+eye-opening+because+the+students+were+actually+getting+excited+about+a+political+change%2C+and+they+were+getting+informed%2C%22+senior+Zane+Smith+said.%0A%0A%0A
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Government students, teachers plan debate
for US House District 3 race

Government teacher Rod McCall, left, stands with 
the moderators, candidates, and students, who helped organize the District Court Seat 219 voting preview event last February. This year's students are working toward hosting another event in October featuring the democratic and republican candidates for the U.S. House District 3 race. The group has yet to get both candidates on board yet, though.
“My involvement with this event last year was really eye-opening because the students were actually getting excited about a political change, and they were getting informed,

Government teacher Rod McCall, left, stands with the moderators, candidates, and students, who helped organize the District Court Seat 219 voting preview event last February. This year's students are working toward hosting another event in October featuring the democratic and republican candidates for the U.S. House District 3 race. The group has yet to get both candidates on board yet, though. “My involvement with this event last year was really eye-opening because the students were actually getting excited about a political change, and they were getting informed," senior Zane Smith said.

Courtesy of Zane Smith

Government teacher Rod McCall, left, stands with the moderators, candidates, and students, who helped organize the District Court Seat 219 voting preview event last February. This year's students are working toward hosting another event in October featuring the democratic and republican candidates for the U.S. House District 3 race. The group has yet to get both candidates on board yet, though. “My involvement with this event last year was really eye-opening because the students were actually getting excited about a political change, and they were getting informed," senior Zane Smith said.

Courtesy of Zane Smith

Courtesy of Zane Smith

Government teacher Rod McCall, left, stands with the moderators, candidates, and students, who helped organize the District Court Seat 219 voting preview event last February. This year's students are working toward hosting another event in October featuring the democratic and republican candidates for the U.S. House District 3 race. The group has yet to get both candidates on board yet, though. “My involvement with this event last year was really eye-opening because the students were actually getting excited about a political change, and they were getting informed," senior Zane Smith said.

Haley Medeiros

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Republican and Democratic candidates in the U.S. House District 3 representative race may come to the high school in early October for a debate.

Government students and teacher Rod McCall planned the proposed debate, similar to an event that took place in Feb. 2018, to help more high schoolers gain an interest in politics. This fall’s event is scheduled to happen Oct. 3 or Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

“Zane Smith and a couple others came to me as representatives of the Social Studies Honor Society, and they said that they really enjoyed and got a lot out of the event we held in February, and they wanted to do something again,” McCall said. “That’s why we are doing this.”

(While Democratic candidate Lorie Burch has committed, Republican Van Taylor’s) camp is evaluating all the requests that they have had for debates and will be making a decision and letting me know … . So, we’re still in a wait-and-see.”

— Rod McCall

The proposed October event is different than February’s, according to McCall.

“We are shooting a little bit bigger,” McCall said.

Republican candidate Van Taylor and Democratic candidate Lorie Burch are running for a seat that has been occupied for the last 28 years by Rep. Sam Johnson, who chose to retire and not seek re-election to the post. AP Government students will research and submit potential debate questions.

“We’ll sort through and pick eight to 10 of the best questions we’ve got,” McCall said. “Those students will be asked to then read those questions to the candidates, in which, then the candidates will answer.”

Burch has agreed to participate in the event, but Taylor’s status is uncertain.

“(Taylor’s) camp is evaluating all the requests that they have had for debates and will be making a decision and letting me know right after labor day,” said McCall, “So, we’re still in a wait-and-see.

Following the event for District Court Seat 219 in February, Collin County voting rates showed a slight rise.

“I think that there’s an increasing crisis not just with students, but in America of people not being informed and not voting,” senior government student Zane Smith said. “My involvement with this event last year was really eye-opening because the students were actually getting excited about a political change, and they were getting informed.”

McCall and government students said they hope this event will raise voting rates for 18 to 24 year-olds in the community.

“A lot of people don’t vote, because they just don’t know enough about it, so they don’t want to just blindly go in and pick a name when they don’t know who it is,” Smith said. “And so, if we get this education out to the students, they’ll feel like they have the power to vote and they’ll realize that it’s not this far away thing that they do when they’re 35. It’s something that can start now when they are 18.”

This event is open to the public and will take place in the school auditorium. Tables will be set up outside of the auditorium to promote each candidate. 

“I think we would be more non-biased toward both parties than any other group or organization,” McCall said. “It is students asking questions, rather than hardcore politicians or news media sources trying to go with ‘gotcha’ kinds of questions.”

Senior and government student Lauren Krupens said she has one additional goal for her group’s efforts to accomplish.

“I feel like a lot of us are so focused on what’s happening on a national level and don’t really see what happens on a city level or county level, so I think that it’s very important for students to become more aware of that and more involved in that,” Krupens said. “That’s what I would like to see out of it.”