WINOOSKI, Vt., Dec. 14 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Winooski High School students for a school assembly Friday morning to discuss the importance of being involved in our democracy.
“I had a wonderful conversation with Winooski High School’s students about their school and about some of the crucial issues facing the United States. I especially appreciated hearing directly from a panel of students about their thoughts and concerns,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee.
After a brief presentation, Sanders took questions from the audience on topics including the high cost of college education, access to health care, immigration policy, climate change, transgender rights, and more. Sanders stressed that in a healthy democracy, youth in Vermont and across the country can help address these and other challenges if they come together and make sure their voices are heard.
“What is important is not whether these kids agree with me on the issues, but rather, that they are thinking about the issues that are important to them, and understand that they have a say in what the government does or does not do about those issues,” Sanders said. “After all, on a very fundamental level, that is what democracy is about: having an informed citizenry that is engaged in the political process.”
Sanders’ visit to Winooski High School is part of his ongoing efforts to encourage students to learn about the major issues facing the United States. On Thursday, Sanders held a video town meeting with students from Albany Community School, Crossett Brook Middle School, Putney Central School, Randolph Union Middle School and Twinfield Union School.
Sanders also holds an annual State of the Union essay contest in which Vermont high school students write about what issues they would prioritize if they were president of the United States and organizes trips to the nonpartisan Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston to help Vermont students learn about the legislative process.