Trail Mix: Bullying via playground politics?

NEED TO KNOW
  • What do kids want out of the election?
  • Doing 'it' for the first time
Highlights for Children magazine surveyed its readers on the most important quality in a president.

Want to know what's popping in campaign news? Meet our column "Trail Mix" -- your guide to the fun, the quirky, and, oh yeah, the news from the 2012 campaign.

Playground politics? Really?

Only (we hope) in Washington, D.C., would an elementary school feel the need to send a note home to parents that reads:

“We in Lower School have found our students at times judging one another harshly for each other’s political views or party preferences.” It goes on to say, “I am reaching out to you, the adults, to talk to your child about respecting others’ views and seeing the Light in each classmate and colleague despite differences of opinion.”

Remember, this is an elementary school. But not just any elementary school, it turns out. While the Washington Post first reported on the letter, the Washington City Paper says that the “Lower School” mentioned is the elementary school portion of the Sidwell Friends school, which Sasha and Malia Obama attend.

What do kids want out of the election?

Well, honesty, maybe kindness (somebody should tell that to the kids in Washington) and a crack at the White House bowling alley.

Highlights for Children magazine surveyed its readers on the most important quality in a president (honesty – twice as popular as kindness) and what their first action would be as president (boys were most likely to try to fix the economy while girls were most likely to help people in need). A few, though, had a slightly more self-serving priority, saying their first action as president would be exploring the White House and trying out the single-lane White House bowling alley.

Kids were also much more idealistic than their parents with 70% of respondents believe in the ability of government leaders to solve most of the country’s problems. Compare that to the whopping 21% of adults who approve of the way Congress is doing its job in an October Gallup poll.

You always remember your first time

Remember your first time? That sense of anticipation? The nervous excitement?

We’re talking, of course, about voting in your first election. (What did you think we were talking about?)

The Obama campaign is targeting first-time voters in a video that not-so-subtly compares voting for the first time to losing one’s virginity. In it, the star of the HBO show “Girls” Lena Dunham says “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy.” She then goes on to name issues such as birth control, health insurance and fair pay for women as being key in her choice to support President Obama.

“My first time voting was amazing,” Dunham says at the end of the video. “Before I was a girl, now I was a woman."

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