High School Students Talk Politics

Isabella Wartzenluft, Editor and Reporter

As a high school student, my opinion on politics has never been taken seriously. No matter how many adults I speak to, it seems that they brush off my opinions, as I am merely a teenager who cannot vote.

Maria Keating, an Arrowhead High School junior, says “I’m always hearing about how we are the future and we are going to run the country, but then older people go against our views…I know many people my age who consider themselves conservative but still advocate for LGBT rights, for example. But as kids, we ‘don’t know any better’ and ‘don’t have enough experience to make such big decisions,’ so we are swept aside despite most of us having similar views and ideals. This is what we want the future to look like, not whatever the politicians of today want.

“My parents always are trying to change my mind and change how I think to line up more with their views, and when I speak up about how I feel, they put me down and say things like ‘you’re only saying that because that’s what you hear from your friends or the internet’ which kind of hurts because I know I’m old enough to make my own decisions and formulate my own opinions, but hearing that from my own parents makes me feel lesser and feel unfit to proceed as an adult.”

My generation must deal with the repercussions of the current political decisions. So why are we not given a say?

Paige Schaber, a junior at Arrowhead, says, “I do feel because of my age that my views aren’t taken seriously because adults assume since I’m young, that I don’t understand or get what’s going on with politics.”

According to The University of Rochester Medical Center, the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. And after realising this, I do not think it is necessary to lower the voting age. Despite not wishing to lower the voting age, teenagers should still be taken seriously and given a chance to participate in politics. We are the generation who must live with the policies and decisions being made today. Just because we cannot vote, does not mean that we are incapable of making valid decisions.

I was raised in a democratic family. I still pertain to all of the beliefs that Democrats hold. But according to the American Sociological Association, more than half of adolescents in the United States reject their parents political affiliations. I do not believe that I am a part of this political party simply because my parents are. I am able to make my own decisions, and I identify this way because it is what I personally believe.

Brandon Szpot, an Arrowhead junior, says “The CPUSA from the 1930s would most accurately represent my ideologies, but if you are referring to modern day politics then I’ll tell you it’s all a load of hogwash. To the people in power, everything is a game, and to their supporters, the implications of beliefs and actions will never have a serious effect on them.”

Of course, all teenagers are not incapable of formulating fair and reasoned political opinions. Adults should be encouraging teenagers to talk about politics, to change the world they they live in, and to take part in political action.