Students watch, discuss Obama's speech

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President Barack Obama’s speech at the Illinois capitol provided an educational opportunity for some schools, including a U.S. Government class at LSA Lutheran high school in Decatur.

The class watched the President’s speech online, and their teacher, Adam Bulava, said several topics in the speech have been discussed in the class, including the drawing of Congressional districts.

“(We’ve discussed) Supreme Court cases and stuff like that … equal protection,” Bulava said. “We haven't really hit political parties yet, but we will here in the next couple weeks.”

Much of the President’s speech argued for compromise and more civic political discourse, a call that resonated with some students who discussed the speech.

“The smear campaigns against people … it’s kind of odd and unappealing,” said junior Ethan Edwards.

Others said, while they approve of the President’s call for more voter participation, they worried that many potential voters do not have access to the information they need.

“Less and less of our population is informed about what goes on, so their first time voting or their 20th time voting ... it's terrifying,” said junior Andrew Gustafson.

Many in the class said they plan to participate in the political process; of those who will be able to vote in November’s election, all said they planned to vote. Some of those who plan to vote said they are particularly concerned about the economy and education.

“Education's important to me,” said senior Rachel Poland. “I think putting my voice towards people who support the same ideas I do with that is important."

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