Press and Journal

Switch to desktop Register Login

Editor's Voice: At Steel-High, an unusual and inspiring civics lesson

If you’re an American, and value your right to vote, you probably remember the first time you voted – the thrill of walking into the voting booth, the excitement of casting a ballot. The candidate for whom you voted.

 

A dozen seniors at Steelton-Highspire High School experienced the thrill in the Nov. 6 election in a rather moving way – for those who profoundly feel that the act of casting a ballot is a reaffirmation of a most sacred right. They went to the polls together, thanks to an effort by the Steelton-Highspire School District and two teachers.

 

The district offered transportation to students who were eligible to vote for the first time. Chris Chyr, senior class advisor and a social studies teacher at the school, and Peter Boyajian, a social studies teacher, drove them to the polls. Chyr has taken students to the polls since 2007.

 

“Voting for the first time is both very exciting for the students, but it can also be very intimidating for them, so going along with them helps alleviate any anxiety’’ as well as answer any questions they may have, Chyr told the Press And Journal for a story about the effort.

 

We applaud the teachers and school district for their effort to provide the students with an opportunity to experience the thrill of being a U.S. citizen. It’s a great way to introduce new voters to their responsibility. And it seemed to impress the students who participated. “It was kind of exciting to vote because it was an important election,’’ said James Carter, a student from Steelton.

 

We hope the pride of casting a vote for the first time will inspire the student to vote in every election, whether it involves choosing a president or a borough council or a board of township supervisors or commissioners. All levels of government are important in our lives – and so many have fought, and died, to preserve our right.