As the future leaders of America, I feel like its a good idea to present them with REAL LIFE issues. One of the trademarks of KIVU in Colorado is our ability to bring up controversy, and get all the points of view on the table. Then we can allow the students to begin simmering on the possibilities of a solution to come up with "the best" answer, rather than one tainted by economics, politics, or even religion for that matter.
It's a safe place.
I try as hard as I can to make sure I'm the facilitator, and I try not to influence the debate. But I find it necessary sometimes to strengthen one side of the issue if students aren't seeing the whole picture.
Yesterday we talked about healthcare. The question, "Is it moral or a-moral for us to have a comprehensive health care plan in America….GO!" HA! You know I set them up. As healthcare has become one of the hottest topics in this season's political debates, I knew we had kids who would voice their opinions all across the spectrum.
"I think it's reprehensible that we live in a country that doesn't take care of people." One student voiced.
"Are you kidding" another added. "If we had universal health care, doctors wouldn't get paid. They've spent their whole lives and future fortunes on education, they deserve to get paid."
"I want the best care. If I'm sick, I want to make sure I go to someone who has enough experience to take care of me. That often means I want to go a doctor highly trained in what he does. That costs money."
"I don't care" another touted.
HA! There was a wide variety of solutions on the table, but I kept pushing for them to get out of the political conversation, and try to think about the morality piece first. Is it moral or not for a country to provide health care for citizens.
And once we decide that…now it's on to process.
"Sure the government doesn't have a track record of being very efficient, so if it's process we're looking for, how can we do this?"
The KIVU difference? Kids are welcome to the table of discussion. It was an amazing conversation to watch the future leaders of tomorrow take some time to debate a hot topic, with civility.
I'm so thankful we have a place where we can do that.
And who knows? Maybe one of these will be your next representative??