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Long IslandEducation

Learning what it means to be a voter

Students at West Middle Island Elementary School participated

Students at West Middle Island Elementary School participated in mock elections by voting for president and for which school store item was their favorite. Credit: Longwood School District

There’s no debating the prevalence of politics in this month’s lesson plans.

Local schools hosted everything from mock debates to fictional votes to visits from legislators in recent weeks to help educate students on the ins and outs of election season.

In Rocky Point, the high school’s participation in government classes were visited by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and the Democratic challenger he defeated, Anna Throne-Holst, who both shared their political platforms during workshops. They were questioned by teens on issues such as economics, foreign policy and domestic social issues.

“Many students are focused on the presidential election, so this in-person town hall experience served as a reminder of the other officials seeking office,” Rocky Point history teacher Brooke Bonomi said.

In Amityville, Edmund W. Miles Middle School’s pre-advanced placement human geography class participated in two mock debates by dividing into teams backing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They were judged by a panel of teachers on the strength on their cases.

In Central Islip, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) was interviewed about his job by children in Aimee Prince’s class at the district’s Early Childhood Center, which he visited to discuss federal education funding.

In Moriches, third-graders at Moriches Elementary School also were visited by Zeldin, who talked about the branches of government and his role in the House.

“It is so important for America’s youth to get involved in government at an early age,” Zeldin said.


“Stop the Bleed”

The Deer Park School District is the first on Long Island to receive training on responding to emergency medical situations through “Stop the Bleed,” a program developed by the American College of Surgeons following the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

During the training, dozens of teachers and administrators learned “hemorrhage control techniques,” which involve the use of tourniquets and hemostatic gauze to control severe bleeding.

The training was conducted by a team from the Stony Brook University Hospital’s trauma center.


Jail visit

About 30 students in Huntington High School’s criminal justice and personal law classes recently received a look at life behind bars during a visit to the Suffolk County jail in Riverhead.

The tour, which was part of the facility’s Youth Enlightenment Seminar, took the students through the complex’s male and female tiers as well as each step of the arrest and intake process. Several inmates also spoke to the teens about the consequences of poor choices.

“It was a real eye-opener for them to hear firsthand accounts of how a seemingly innocent evening out with friends landed them in jail,” Huntington teacher Suzie Biagi said.


Red Ribbon Week

Long Island students learned the importance of healthy decisions last month during various Red Ribbon Week activities, a drug-prevention campaign running from Oct. 24-28.

In Ronkonkoma, Cherokee Elementary School in the Connetquot district displayed photos of students and staff posing for “drug-free selfies,” while children in the district’s Idle and John Pearl elementary schools learned the dangers of smoking from the Suffolk County Department of Health.

In Bay Shore, high schoolers were treated to an inspirational speech by Chris Herren, a former NBA player who has been drug-free since 2008 after falling victim to substance abuse and being briefly pronounced dead following a car accident.

In Shoreham, students at Albert G. Prodell Middle School participated in various themed days — including “Pinky Swear Monday” in which kids painted their pinky nails red and vowed to remain drug and bully free.

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