I am writing in response to Steve Woods’ April 29 opinion piece (“Maine Voices: Schools need civics courses to get young voters involved”). As a student at Falmouth High School, I found the column to be factually inaccurate and an insult to our intelligence and education. I would like to address some of these inaccuracies.

Maine law specifically includes civics among the courses required to receive a high school diploma. This requirement is more substantial than the minimum six hours he has suggested and is enumerated in Title 20-A, Section 4722, sponsored by Falmouth Rep. Mary Nelson and enacted in June 2011.

With reference to his statement “probably eight of every 10 (students) don’t know the difference between a referendum and a refrigerator”: Yes, sir, we do. Many of us have worked on referendum campaigns. We also understand and respect the difference between substantiated facts and unsubstantiated claims.

Furthermore, as students, we know and understand that the manner in which the national and state governments interact is referred to as a federal system, not a republican system, as stated. We would expect anyone running for the state Senate, such as Mr. Woods, to have a coherent knowledge and understanding of this.

Lastly, Falmouth students, as a graduation requirement, must register or pre-register to vote. I look forward to doing so.

In conclusion, to answer his question, “Will they be interested, or able, to cast a vote intelligently?”: Yes, we will, and he owes us an apology for stating otherwise.

Paul Vella

Class of 2016, Falmouth High School


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