Hammond Clark students focus on debate

2012-10-22T15:56:00Z 2012-10-22T21:29:21Z Hammond Clark students focus on debateCarmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Some Clark High School juniors are learning beyond the classroom as they watched the third and final presidential debate Monday night and did their own fact checking on candidate claims.

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for the last of three debates at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., the biggest swing state prize with 29 electoral votes. The debate focused on foreign policy.

Advanced Placement English students in Bill McCullom's class at Hammond Clark High School watched the debate, with pizza and cola, and an ear to what the candidates were saying.

Hammond Clark senior Kayla Williams, 18, will be voting for the first time this fall. She is most interested in college funding and the quality of schools. She also is concerned about the national debt and national security.

"I looked at the previous two presidential debates," she said as she watched the debate on C-Span with other students. "In the first one, President Obama wasn't as strong, but he came back strong in the second debate." 

As the students watched the debate, they also completed a questionnaire looking at whether the speaker is knowledgeable, believable and trustworthy, did the speaker connect with the audience's emotions and how well did the candidate use facts and expert opinion to support his opinion.

McCullom sat back and watched the teens as they listened to the debate.

"I want them to be able to think about the issues and what is important to them, what they understand about the issues," he said. "If they understand what is important to them then they can make conscious choices."

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