Politics in School

With the 2020 election approaching, talks of impeachment, and warnings of climate disaster up ahead, it’s nearly impossible to not form political opinions. These stances, however, are usually best left unsaid in places of work or school. 

One person who knows all too well how impactful sharing personal opinions can be is Alexa Pupo, the Government and Economics teacher here at the Prep. Pupo explained that the main purpose of her class is to provide her students with confidence and to be successful in evaluating and understanding their viewpoints. When it comes to Pupo’s standpoints, however, she prefers to stay neutral and let her students have ideas of their own. 

“I think this is true at any time in politics,” Pupo explained. “In any decade, in any year, you’re never short of something to talk about.”

Regardless of what is going on outside her classroom, Pupo is committed to fostering an understanding and empathetic classroom.

“It’s important that [my students] focus on understanding that you can be confident while also understanding others viewpoints,” Pupo said. “I won’t tell them how I feel about things politically. I’m not teaching them to think like me, I’m teaching them to think. I don’t want my kids to assume I’m right; viewpoints are based on personal values and there isn’t one way to think.” 

Senior Jacob Demar is taking Pupo’s Government and Economics class this year, and explained that he prefers to keep political conversations at a minimum if possible. 

“I really appreciate when anyone keeps their political opinions to themselves… and Ms. Pupo is a notable example,” Demar said.

When needed, however, Demar said that he does “eel safe to voice [his opinions] and hear others as well. 

Pupo put it simply when she said that disagreeing is okay, and it’s crucial to learn how to co-exist despite our differences. By creating such an inclusive and empathetic learning environment, Pupo is preparing students to approach issues with open mindedness. Her students have learned to always take others viewpoints into account while still remaining confident in their beliefs. Pupo is generating compassion and awareness in tomorrow’s citizens, ready to face a world in desperate need of it.