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Lexington One students host candidate forum for those running for school board

In candidate discussions, there are normally moderators and those that come to listen. Thursday, those moderators were high school students.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — As we get closer to election day candidates are doing everything they can to win your vote. Thursday night at River Bluff High School, candidates for the school board in Lexington District One held a discussion that was open to the public but with a bit of a twist. At this candidate event, the students were the ones asking all the questions.

The discussion was set up in a round-robin format where candidates moved from table to table answering a different question each time and recapping their previous answer.

Hayden Raper, one of the students helping moderate and ask questions says although he cannot vote, he is happy to let his voice be heard in a different way.

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"I think it's important as a student rather than a citizen, or an adult because I'm still in school so a school candidate election is really important to all of us in the law program, at River Bluff, and the district as a whole," Raper explained.

There are currently 10 candidates running for the school board in Lexington One and seven of them showed up to participate in the forum.

The discussions covered everything from student mental health to district spending; five different questions with eight minutes for each. Candidates used the first three minutes to give their thoughts, and the next five minutes were for students and residents to ask questions.

Teacher, Michael Burgess has helped host several student-led candidate forums over the years and says this race is the most important for students.

"If you think about all the races this election cycle, which one has the greatest impact on Juniors and Seniors? It is the election of three new members to the 7-person school board," Burgess stated.

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It is hands-on research that Burgess hopes his students carry with them as the future voters of America.

"They have a voice, they have a role," Burges said. "They have an obligation to take what they've learned about participating in civil discourse and begin to change the dialogue that is happening among adults."

Early voting will last until Saturday, November 5 but the polls will be closed this Sunday, October 30.

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