The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

Congressman Kind visits high school students

Congressman Kind speaks with high school students about foreign policy.

Some 21st Century World students were visited by United States Congressman Ron Kind on April 11. Kind was in the area for a listening session in the Lunda Theatre and after the listening session, Kind stopped by the high school and spoke to students about foreign policy.

“There’s a lot of different approaches to the issues that we face as citizens of this global planet,” said Kind. “If you have a chance to get abroad, do it–because the other thing you’ll realize when you come back home is you’ll have a greater appreciation for what America is all about.”

Kind informed the class about current global issues and fielded questions regarding American policy. History teacher Paul Rykken sees Kind’s visits as extremely beneficial for the students and points out this isn’t the first visit Kind has made to the high school.

“We’ve been lucky this year because he’s been here twice. I think for the time he’s been in office– he first ran in ‘96– I’m sure we’ve had him here more than 20 times,” said Rykken.

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Senior Garrett Aleckson understands the importance and impact of bringing in a person who directly impacts the United States’ foreign affairs. Aleckson recalled Kind’s call to study abroad.

“I feel it has an impact because he represents our district, and it’s good to hear from our own congressman. It really helped because he gave some advice to travel around the world and learn [about]  other cultures,” said Aleckson.

Some of the other parts of the world Congressman Kind talked to the class about included Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Brazil and North Korea.

“Right now on foreign policy grounds, we’re obviously keeping a very close eye on the Arab Spring,” said Kind, “We’ve also got a very difficult situation with Iran that we’re dealing with.”

Kind reiterated the importance of being an accessible figure, especially to younger students who may not be fully involved in politics yet. He also pointed out the importance of education to America’s youth, and what that education means to America’s future.

“It’s important for me to understand what’s going on in the schools- what type of help and resources they need to be successful so that the students can be successful in the classroom. That’s going to be important for our nation’s future so that we can remain to be competitive with the rest of the world,” said Kind. “It’s also the most fun I have with the job, coming into the schools and meeting and talking with the students.”

Not only do Kind’s visit help him learn about the issues affecting students day-to-day lives, Kind’s visits can bring about new desires for those students. Aleckson had some dim interests fully renewed.

“He reinforced my interest in politics, and I may decide to major or minor in politics because of his visit,” said Aleckson.

That passion for politics and democracy is something Kind knows needs to start early and carry on throughout a person’s life. He believes getting into a classroom can only help that– which is why he visits students and teachers across the third Congressional District as often as he can.

“You’ve got teachers who are very dedicated professionals who work incredibly hard to make sure that students can be as successful as they can be, but, it’s a two-way street,” said Kind. “Students need to bring that type of motivation and work ethic to help themselves be successful. It’s important that when a student becomes eligible to vote, that they exercise that right to participate in our democracy.”

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Congressman Kind visits high school students