Memorial School third graders participated in the annual “Upton Local History & Town Government Day” on Wednesday, May 26.
Third graders took a stroll, on what turned out to be a lovely day in May, from Memorial School to Upton Town Hall to participate in a mock Town Meeting. Students also learned how several town departments worked and discovered secrets of the past during a visit to the Historical Society.
The 91 third graders checked into the Town Hall as a voter would during a typical Town Meeting. The meeting began when acting Moderator, Town Clerk Kelly McElreath, asked the students if they would vote to welcome the visitors who were not registered voters (chaperones and teachers) into the meeting. For the first time in ten years, the students voted to kick the chaperones and teachers out of tthe meeting. Needless to say, McElreath finagled a way to keep the chaperones and teachers in the meeting.
The first motion was made by Cade Arthur who moved “to increase the number of hours in the school day from 6 hours to 8 hours.”
The first student to voice their opinion was in favor of the change saying he thought it was a good idea because “people liked their friends.”
Students in favor of the change said they would have “more time to draw, have more time at recess, and more time to learn.”
Those against said it was a bad idea because of “sports, school is boring, less time to play outside, less time for family, less time for homework, would make them too tired” and simply because “it’s hot on the third floor.”
Students voted against extending the school day.
The second motion was to ban all electronic devices from the school, the school playground, and buses.
Those who thought it was a good idea to ban electronics said, “kids get distracted, electronics can break on the bus, you might lose it on the bus, and kids can’t cheat.”
Those against banning electronics said, “there might be an emergency and they need to call their parents, what if someone has to go to the hospital, I like to use it on the bus and playground, helps kids learn.”
The third graders went wild when they voted not to ban electronic devices.
After the mock Town Meeting students traveled throughout the Town Hall and learned about the different Town departments, visited the Board of Selectmen Meeting Room, and played Uptonopoly.
Students visited the library and then went upstairs to the Upton Historical Society where they explored the museum and voted for their favorite class using an old voting box. Students also discovered how many Upton residents, especially women, worked at the old Hat Factory.
The first video is the official voice vote on the first motion to extend the school day. The second video is the vote on banning electronics.