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  Workshop 7: Controversial Public Policy Issues  
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Workshop 7

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Student Perspectives: Citizenship

Becky: [The lesson] showed me that I really need to stay informed of what’s going on in the world, what’s going on in the news, [and] how people are reacting to it because I didn’t know anything about racial profiling, and I didn’t have any opinions. If I were to vote, I would see if my representative agreed with it or didn’t and that would influence my decision. As a citizen, I’ll know what’s expected of me if I’m ever arrested and I’ll know what the cops are allowed to do and what they’re not allowed to do and I’ll know what other people are going through. Even if I don’t become a lawyer, I’ll know how lawyers argue or I’ll know my rights and other people’s rights.

Joseph: I think [the lesson] gives you a broader perspective on being a citizen because it helps you realize that as a citizen you should be more informed about [how] the country is run. This class helps you see the way that this country is--like what the law of the land is and how the country is supposed to be run.

Rayad: I am a first-generation American. My dad tells us every day we’re lucky to be growing up here in America. We have a lot of different things that he didn’t have when he was growing up and to always appreciate it, to strive for it but also never forget where you came from. It’s an important thing just to appreciate life. In my family, my little brother and I [get] more [of a] sense of citizenship from our parents because they didn’t have the things that we have. They didn’t have the opportunities that we have.

I think a duty of every citizen is to stay informed. By staying informed, you stay involved in your community. You understand what’s going on around you, and one of the most important things is to be aware.

I’ve heard the [citizenship] test is tough. My dad sponsored my aunts who used to live in South America. They all had to apply for citizenship. My grandmother did, my grandfather, my cousins who were born in South America. They said it was a tough test. They studied for it, and I think that people who end up taking the citizenship test know more about America than the citizens do themselves because they really have to be prepared for that test.


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