HISD believes in teaching students the value of their civic duty. Every year, the district makes a concentrated effort to help eligible students register to vote. This year, during the first week of school, volunteers with the Texas League of Women Voters (LWV) visited every HISD high school to support that effort.
“These young people want to change the world, and one of the ways you change the world is by voting,” said LWV volunteer Tom Allen. “You can’t vote unless you’re registered, so we’re here to help them change the world.”
The LWV is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging people to exercise their right to make their voice heard through voter registration events and community outreach. Among their first stops was Sharpstown High School.
“Sharpstown has a long history of getting kids out to vote and getting them registered,” said instructional specialist Farhan Shah. “We do that at the beginning of every year, though this is our first year with the League of Women Voters. They are a storied organization, and it’s great that we are able to collaborate with them this year.”
The LWV representatives at Sharpstown briefly met with HISD Superintendent Millard House II on his first-day-of-school campus visit. House thanked the volunteers for their time and commitment to helping HISD students stay informed and, ultimately, cast their first vote.
“The younger folks are the ones who are going to live the majority of their lives with the policies that are enacted by the people who are currently in office,” said LWV volunteer Jackie Kacen. “It is in their best interest to take an active part in trying to get their ideas and their voices heard.”
HISD teachers encourage their students to explore critical thinking and to engage with the world around them so that they may make informed decisions for the future that they will inherit.
“Lean on your social studies teachers,” said Shah, recounting the advice he would give to his students who want to participate actively in positive social change. “Government and economics are essential to civics, and our teachers work toward getting kids registered and getting them abreast of what’s going on nationally as well as locally. Getting kids informed so that they can make those decisions for themselves and claim their voice, as their right, that’s an important thing for us.”
The voter registration deadline for the November 8, 2022, election is October 11. For more information on upcoming elections and registering to vote, please visit the LWV Houston website.