April 19, 2012
The Houston Independent School District is launching a campus-based voter registration drive as part of an effort to teach students the importance of participating in the democratic process. HISD kicked off this drive on Thursday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at Waltrip High School (1900 West 34th).
"Texas had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country for young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 in 2008, and it is our responsibility as a district to change those statistics," said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. "Democracy thrives when our schools produce an educated society."
All HISD high school principals have been deputized to register eligible voters. In addition, an official from the Harris County Tax Assessor's Office trained all HISD high school principals on the proper protocol to follow when collecting voter registration cards on campus.
"As a principal, I am thrilled to be able to assist the district with these efforts. We also welcome our parents and community members to come here and register to vote," said Waltrip Principal Steve Siebenaler. "This drive will further complement what is already being taught in our classrooms."
HISD social studies teachers have been emphasizing the importance of civic participation through voting and other means in class.
"The importance of voter registration is a key component in the U.S. government course offered to all high school seniors," said Angela Miller, HISD curriculum manager. "Students learn about the rights and responsibilities of participatory citizenship in our democratic republic."
There are almost 19,000 high school students between 17 and 18 years of age who are or will be eligible to vote soon. All HISD high schools will have voter registration cards available on campus to encourage all eligible students to register to vote. Parents and members of the community can also register to vote at their nearby high school during regular school hours.
To be eligible to vote, individuals must be a U.S. citizen and be 18 years old by election day.