Students In Today’s Politics

Maya Mercado-Garcia, Photographer

In today’s world, politics affect every individual, even students. On the night of September 29th, students from Downey High School all turned on their devices as they began to watch, for most of them, their first presidential debate ever. 

 

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden took the floor at 6pm and began their first  debate. They discussed the topics surrounding Covid-19, the economy, the Supreme Court, race and violence in our cities, the integrity of the election, as well as both candidates’ records. 

 

Most students had class assignments surrounding the debate yet many, like Jackson Zowada, 11, found that watching the debate for a school assignment was in fact, stressful. Zowada points out the unprofessionalism of the debate, explaining the difficulty for students to disregard the personal insults so that they could actually analyze their stances and points.

 

 “Both candidates handled it immaturely,” Zowada said, “I am sure anyone in my classes would have handled the debate better.”

 

Despite student’s struggle to analyze the debate for school assignments, many found interest in wanting to watch and learn more. Many Downey High students such as Kailani Fletcher, 11, explain how important it is to stay focused on politics, even if it’s not for a school assignment.

 

 “I think that it is very important for our generation to be involved in politics,” Fletcher said, “You should know about the politics of your country so you can make educated decisions when it comes time for you to vote. Although we can’t vote at the moment, we can have conversations with those who can.”

 

As students finished watching the debate, they were left to form their own opinions based on their own judgement. Some students left it at that, some began to watch news sources or look at articles for fact checks, some turned to their parents, while others turned to social media. Rebea Leon, 11, explains how we as students need to become more aware and educated.

 

“Students need to read more and learn off articles and facts rather than just getting their information from social media. It is important for students to get properly informed as their future is on the line. Students should also get involved by participating in protests, writing to their local representatives, as well as informing others,” Leon said. “Knowledge is key.”


Many of Downey High’s vikings felt determined to be involved in world issues after watching the first presidential debate. Students in today’s politics are becoming more aware of the issues surrounding them and are more empowered to use their voice and expand their knowledge. Many students will tune in to watch the second presidential debate Thursday night, October 15th, at 6:30pm.