The Carver High School Marching Band, under the direction of Juan Eckard, provided the rhythm as more than 100 seniors marched to the Mazie Woodruff Center on Nov. 1 to vote for the very first time.
The school’s History Department and teachers Dorothy Jackson, Sharonna Miller and Dr. Felecia Piggott-Long organized this voting field trip.
“As history teachers, we are required to teach the components of a democracy. Whenever possible, we also like to show students our democracy at work. Therefore, we organized this voting field trip,” Jackson said.
Senior Jennifer Hernandez was very excited about the voting experience.
“I’m the first in my family to vote,” she said. “I will continue to express the importance of voting to my family. It’s a civic responsibility and a right as a citizen of the United States.”
Senior William Thomas shared his classmate’s excitement.
“This was a great experience. As a United States citizen I feel voting is a right and my responsibility. My grandfather, Bishop Claude Thomas, pastor of Genesis Victory Outreach Center, also demands that our family members and church members vote,” Thomas said. “I’m fortunate because I have a strong family structure. We discuss current issues. We are taught that people in office will have an impact on our lives, negative or positive.”
Senior Robert Burnett, who plans to attend West Point Military Academy next fall, said that Americans should be proud that they have the opportunity to pick their leaders.
“It is an honor to be an American and have the opportunity to cast a vote for a presidential candidate. We must recognize; this is not how all countries elect their leaders. In some countries, citizens don’t have a voice,” he said. “Being at Carver High School has further encouraged me to vote.”
Principal Ronald Travis sees voting as a human right, and understands that African Americans “had to suffer to earn the right to vote.”
“As the benefactor of many who died for my right to vote, I must do so on their behalf,” he said. “As history teaches us, African Americans were not considered full citizens of this country until 1866, when the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was passed.”