A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Engaging Students in Civil Discourse About the Election

Every election brings opportunity to engage in the democratic process and hope for positive change.
- Head of School Randall Dunn
A historic election year brings a multitude of opportunities for learning about government and the political system. Not only is it important to learn about this history, but it’s also necessary to prepare students and teachers for every discussion that engages individuals with different opinions, lived experiences, perspectives and identities.

Listen to Upper School History Teacher and History Department Chair Cara Gallagher share what civil discourse is and why it is important.


Latin’s youngest Romans spent the week learning about each candidate running for Lower School Lovie: Bun Rabbit, Narny Narwhal and Volex Vulture who are all running on a platform of nutrition, environment and self-care. The lower school polling booths were opened to JK-first grade students to place their votes. And the winner… Narny Narwahl! 


In fourth grade, students discussed broad topics including, the history of political parties, branches of government, checks and balances as well as political campaigns. Students were tasked with creating their own campaign posters displaying issues that are important to them. Check them out!

Middle school students' voter registration cards

Voter registration cards for fifth and sixth grade students participating in The Great Dessert Election of 2020

Fifth and sixth grade students participated in The Great Dessert Election of 2020 as a way to experience voter registration, recruiting candidates, primaries, nomination, a general election and the electoral college. The students registered to vote and through their homeroom either joined the Cake Party or the Cookie Party to suggest candidates. Once that was done, the students had primaries for each party, where candidates had the opportunity to create a campaign video. Winning both the electoral and popular votes… the Cake Party’s Ice Cream Cake!

Editors of the upper school’s new, digital political magazine, Discourses, created a video message about why voting is important and shared what they are doing to get politically involved in the 2020 election. 

Developing leading approaches to advancing dialogue, civil discourse and inquiry-based discussion across the curriculum is part of Latin’s Strategic Design and it is urgent work.

“Every election brings opportunity to engage in the democratic process and hope for positive change. Regardless of the outcome, Latin needs to be a place where the skills to engage in the toughest of conversations with mutual respect and true understanding are taught, modeled and encouraged. As a diverse and inclusive community of learners, we should expect no less.” –Head of School Randall Dunn, an excerpt from a letter to the Latin community on October 29, 2020


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