Tenney Talks to Public Policy Class

The legalization of marijuana, LGBTQ rights and the Common Core curriculum were among the topics students in Windsor High School’s Public Policy class covered with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney during her first “Congresswoman in Your Classroom” event.

The Congresswoman help a Skype call with the students, giving them some background about her duties and committee assignments in Washington before taking student questions.

The first question was whether she supported the legalization of marijuana as a way to help pay for tax cuts. Tenney said as a libertarian she needs to be open minded but that she’s still “weighing in” on the issue. She says Colorado, which has legalized recreational marijuana, could be an example of whether she would consider it on a state-by-state basis.

Tenney was also asked about her “no” vote in the New York State Assembly on the Marriage Equality Act. She says she personally doesn’t have a problem with the issue but that she voted no because the bill didn’t include an amendment addressing religious freedom.

On her support to abolish the Common Core curriculum, Tenney called it a “top-down, one-size-fits-all” approach that undermines the professionalism of teachers. She feels school districts can provide student standards with guidance from the state Department of Education.

After the Q-and-A session with Tenney, students debriefed about their thoughts.

“On her website she was trying to appeal to Republicans, so the issues she’s libertarian on she didn’t mention (on her website), as opposed to some of the questions we asked her,” said senior Ava Lawrence.

“I feel like when she’s talking to 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds she talks up libertarian views more as opposed to her website where she plays up conservatism more,” said senior Jackson White.

“Maybe that had to do with what the first question was. It was a leading question. I think she read the room,” said senior Alexander Quinn.

Students debated whether Tenney answered every aspect of their questions but many appreciated the depth of her responses.

“She dove into the minutia of issues and definitely respected out intelligence. She didn’t talk down to us,” said White.

“Her responses weren’t as vague as I expected them to be and that was a pleasant surprise,” said Quinn.

“I think it went great. She was very responsive to the kids and she gave them a good deal of her time,” said teacher Scott Symons. “Real world experiences are better than just being in the classroom.”

Claudia Tenney appears on screen at the front of the room as students watch

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