Should Politics Be Discussed in the Classroom?


 Discussing politics can often bring up controversial topics that must be approached delicately in the classroom, especially amongst young, impressionable students. While it is necessary for teachers to discuss these important issues, since decisions made by politicians affect everyone’s lives, it is also vital that teachers do not reveal their own beliefs when talking to their students. Teachers need to be able to teach students about politics in an unbiased, professional way. 

The 2021 presidential election was one of the most controversial elections that has occured in recent years. Students must learn about the politicians running and their viewpoints, especially when the presidential election was so crucial to the future of the country. In addition to learning about politics, students need to be able to express their viewpoints without discounting the opinions of others. In liberal arts classes, especially, teachers rely heavily on student participation instead of a textbook curriculum, so it is essential to talk about present-day politics with students. 

 “Teachers should talk about politics, in general, because it is good for students to understand the difference between both parties before they decide to vote. But, teachers should not express their own political stance,” agreed junior Alex Katz. “Many students look up to their teachers, so a teacher’s political opinion can greatly impact a student’s opinion, too,” said junior Zoe Zou. “If a teacher cannot explain politics in an unbiased way, then they should refrain from doing so at all,” added Zou.

 Talking about politics in class can be beneficial to students since they experience other students’ viewpoints firsthand while engaging in civilized discussion. When students can engage in a constructive conversation with their peers, it can help them improve their listening skills, range of critical thinking, and ability to respect others’ opinions. “I think there are many benefits to talking about politics in class,” agreed junior Aliyah Jaikaran. “It presents the students with an engaging prompt and allows them to open their eyes to new views. As long as everyone is respectful towards each other, I do not think there is a problem with it.”

 A teacher’s job is to teach his/her students about real-world scenarios and prepare them for life after high school. Students need a safe space to express themselves, and teachers can make that possible by leading political discussions in the classroom. However, this needs to be conducted by the teacher in an unbiased, open discussion, without students attacking their peers for opposing views or the teacher letting their own views sway students’ opinions.