Freshman Maggie Thompson and Rep. Spencer Frye sit at a meeting of the Young Democrats at Clarke Central High School on Oct. 25. Frye had a positive experience at the meeting and was pleased by the political activity of the students. “It’s great to see them stay after school, it’s great to see them be interested in these things, these issues that we talked about and the questions that were asked really show that folks are paying attention,” Frye said. Photo by Valeria Garcia-Pozo.
State representative of House District 118 Spencer Frye came to a meeting of Clarke Central High School’s Young Democrats.
On Oct. 25, state representative of House District 118 Spencer Frye paid a visit to Clarke Central High School’s Young Democrats to speak with the members of the club about politics, as well as to answer students’ questions.
The event featured discussions on topics ranging from minimum wage to getting more Democratic representatives elected to the recent decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“The Young Democrats’ vice president reached out to Spencer Frye’s office and invited him to come in, and she arranged everything, set everything up. He was very generous,” senior and Young Democrats president Martha Mayfield said. “We did not tell him what questions we were gonna ask or what direction we were going in and he was just completely open and honest to answer anything without knowing beforehand what it was, which was very cool.”
For freshman Maggie Thompson, the event served as a hands-on approach to learning about the U.S. government.
“I didn’t know much about how the Georgia General Assembly worked, and I think now I have a much better view of that,” Thompson said. “It’s helpful especially when people come and talk to us that we can learn a lot more than just talking to our teachers about these things because we get a clearer view. I guess it’s more of a firsthand account and more interesting.”
Mayfield believes that the event would have benefitted from attendance by a more diverse variety of students.
“We need to do a much better job of representing the Central student body racially, primarily, in our membership, because that’s something you see across Central clubs that are not specifically geared towards supporting students of color,” Mayfield said. “In clubs across the school, we see them disproportionately white, which is not okay.”
Frye believes high school students should hone an interest in local politics.
“A couple years ago, we actually passed a law that reduced the number of standardized tests that you guys had to take,” Frye said. “I would be inclined, if I was a student, to be very supportive of people who are supportive of me taking less standardized tests as a perfect example of how important paying attention to politics is and also how locally it affects you.”