South Bay students show political knowledge

Posted at 12:00 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 15:00:34-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Some South Bay students who are not old enough to vote are teaching people lessons about how to discuss politics.

"We're the ones that are going to have to live with the decisions that they are making," said High Tech High School Chula Vista senior Rafael Rosas. "I am furious that I won't be able to vote in the primary."

Rosas is a member of the school's Voices In Politics afterschool class. For months, the students have been researching and preparing to debate the issues in front of the student body, with an actual election will follow the debate.

"We don't agree with each other all the time," said junior Nick Walden, who is the conservative candidate.

Independent Caitlyn Dayton didn't even know she was interested in politics until the faculty advisor, Alan Botterman, invited her to participate.

On Wednesday, she represented a third party vote in the debate. Rosas represented the liberal vote.

Classmates chose the party that best represented their beliefs and they broke into groups. Those groups then researched political topics for months to prepare for Wednesday's debate.

Topics ranged from climate change and the war on drugs, to abortion and refugees.

The students said they tried to keep the negativity out of the debate.

"We're not attacking individuals; we're debating ideas," said Rosas, who is headed to Dartmouth next year. "If we could see that in the presidential election on both parties more, I think we would produce a country that could be bipartisan but still go things done."