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Students discuss the heated presidential debates

WJPS+was+given+the+privileged+of+representing+the+school+on+a+panel+with+Channel+1+news.+The+purpose+of+the+panel+was+to+discuss+whether+the+presidential+candidates+responses+with+the+others+was+a+form+of+bullying.+Photo+attributed+to+Kim+K.+
WJPS was given the privileged of representing the school on a panel with Channel 1 news. The purpose of the panel was to discuss whether the presidential candidates responses with the others was a form of bullying. Photo attributed to Kim K.

by Kay Kim, junior editor in chief

WJPS was given the privileged of representing the school on a panel with Channel 1 news. The purpose of the panel was to discuss whether the presidential candidates responses with the others was a form of bullying. Photo attributed to Kim K.
WJPS was given the privileged of representing the school on a panel with Channel 1 news. The purpose of the panel was to discuss whether the presidential candidates responses with the others was a form of bullying. Photo attributed to Kim K.

Heated presidential debates have sparked controversy as they noted signs of bullying.

To discuss this issue, several students from the school were selected for a panel discussion held by reporter, Azia Celestino, at Channel One News. The students, Justin Raclaw, Rawlanda Hinds, Brendon Muniz, Briana Pistone, and Joshua Vergara, were advised by Mr. Nisonoff.

“The goal of this story was to analyze whether or not presidential candidates’ rhetoric matches up with bullying and what that means for young people,” digital journalist and reporter for Channel One News Azia Celestino said.

Participating students defined bullying as physical and verbal abuse, bringing down another person’s feelings, and making oneself the top-dog and making the opponent the underdog. Another student defined it as how one person affects the feelings of another person in a negative way.

Through the discussions, students concluded that the candidates have indeed been bullying each other. The purpose of debates is to talk about the issues and propose pragmatic and conceivable solutions. It is not about putting someone down to make one’s ideas look better.

“You can stand up for yourself, but not attack,” participant junior Rawlanda Hinds said.

Such behaviors of verbal bullying that are shown by the candidates are counterattacking the manners that students are taught in school. Students are encouraged to disagree with their peers in a respectful manner. For example, instead of disagreeing with their peers right away, students should first express what part they do agree with.

“In schools, we are taught that the students are our peers and we need to respect them and acknowledge their points. But the adults are saying ‘You’re wrong’,” participant junior Briana Pistone said.

One student stated that the presidential debates have gone off tangent.

“I saw a headline that said Donald Trump’s hands were small. But that’s not what we should focus on. We have to focus on policies, not bicker an attack,” participant junior Justin Raclaw said.

Students’ panel discussion can be viewed here.

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