Fourth-district congressional candidate, James Thompson, visited Pratt High School AP Government class to talk to students about the importance of voting and getting involved with politics.
Pratt High teacher, Kyle Farmer, invited congressional candidate, James Thompson, to visit with his AP Government class about the importance of voting and political involvement on August 30.
Congressman Ron Estes was also invited but has not yet responded, though Farmer said it may be possible for Estes to visit sometime in the coming months.
"I'm the government teacher and also, I'm a citizen of the fourth district," Farmer said. "I want to make sure I understand what both nominees stand for on the issues so I have a better understanding of who to vote for in the November election."
Getting his high school students interested in the election and engaged with the political process is important, Farmer said, so that they can make their voices heard and can be as well-informed as possible when making decisions.
Thompson said there were a lot of great questions asked, and he appreciated the enthusiasm he saw from the students.
"They're seeing kids like the kids in Parkland- -and whether you agree with them or not, they're passionate on getting an issue taken to the national scene, [and it's] really invigorating younger people," Thompson said. "I love that."
The class visit came the same day that Thompson and Congressman Ron Estes would be participating in the first-ever public forum with both candidates at Pratt Community College.
"I just encouraged them to go out and get involved whether that's with the republicans or democrats," Thompson said. "But get involved-- make your voice heard. Don't be silent. It's your life too."
After Thompson left, Farmer said his students began excitedly discussing amongst themselves the ways they could get involved, including potentially starting a weekly dinner group to discuss current political events and enjoy each others company.
The dinner club, the students said, would be more of a 'young citizens club' rather than a club divided by political party.
"I love that," Farmer said. "I love that they don't want to be divided amongst themselves, and they want to work across the aisle to make the world a better place."
Alesha Bergner, Pratt High senior, said she enjoyed the visit because it was respectful and allowed the students to talk to Thompson in a less formal setting.
"He came and asked for our opinion on things and wanted to help us be informed on the government because I know it's very important for the younger individuals to get involved," Bergner said. "He cares that we all were informed and interested--not only on his views--but on government in general to get us ready to vote.”