Kids say ‘no’ to negative ads


Two sixth-grade students from Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring got into the spirit of the campaign season when they designed their Halloween costumes. Rachel Shereikis, 10, dressed as a voting booth, and Amy Krimm, 11, went as our favorite newspaper. (Family photo)

Today is Election Day, when Americans will choose the next president of the United States. At KidsPost, we’ve written a lot about the election to help kids understand what they were seeing in other parts of the newspaper or on television. We explained presidential debates; we even came up with an art project you can do Tuesday night while you watch election results with your family.

But it was our story about political advertising that prompted Catherine Odey’s sixth-grade students at Rocky Hill Middle School in Montgomery County to write us letters with their opinions on negative ads.

Regardless of who wins the presidential election, we hope all the politicians in the United States will pay attention to what these kids have to say:

“After reading the KidsPost article “Selling the President,” our class had a very intense discussion about the commercials. . . . I think that they are annoying and they are wasting money. For example, when I was watching ‘Jeopardy!’ one day, when it went to commercial break, the commercials went from Obama to Romney to Tim Kaine to George Allen! And since 99 percent of the things are bogus, they are wasting lots of money!”

An ad run by President Obama‘s campaign attacks Romney for saying he would end government funding for PBS. (YouTube)

— Arpan Barua, 11

“These ads are just stupid. The candidates are acting like a bunch of 3-year-olds fighting over a toy. Doing campaigns like the Big Bird commercials and saying the other candidate is telling lies is low. The candidates should be showing that they are honorable, kind, hardworking people.”

— Brittany Love, 11

“Negative ads are bad because not everything is true so they mislead voters.”

— Emma McGrath, 11

“I think candidates spend too much money on ads. I think that ads give false information and people can just tune in to the debates or read credible articles.”

— Cedric Starks, 11

“I feel that the ads are annoying and untrue. They don’t put anything new, and they never say anything positive about themselves. They only focus on the bad stuff about the person they’re running against.”

— Angela Grey-Theriot, 11

“Just because you say bad things about the other person doesn’t mean that the public will change their minds. Also, I think while President Obama and Governor Romney waste millions and millions of dollars on the ads that people don’t even listen to, they should help schools.”

— Lisa Patel, 12

“Instead of ads that attack each other, why not let people better understand their motives? They spend millions of dollars just for attacking and defending, like football. So let’s make the ads positive so we can really move forward.”

— Mei Lu, 12

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