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Rockford Students Debate The Presidential Campaign Issues, Not The Scandals

Susan Stephens
Haifa Ali and Andrea Stout took on the challenge of representing party platforms in a debate at Jefferson High School in Rockford

Imagine a presidential debate that is civil and about issues. That’s what happened Friday at Jefferson High School in Rockford, where students Andrea Stout and Haifa Ali debated.

They weren’t pretending to be the current presidential candidates: Instead, they represented the platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties.

The two candidates answered questions about immigration, voting rights, higher education, and the economy.

The teachers who organized the debate, Steve Shelton and Douglas McArthur, say they want students to see what a civil debate looks like and to learn to make more-informed decisions as many approach their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election.

And, no matter what their age, students at Jefferson will vote in a school-wide Mock Election Oct. 27.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.