Campaign talk contrary to what Colorado teaches about political debates

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. - A mock caucus at Highlands Ranch High School mirrored political debates seen across the country, with one exception: no insults were allowed.

Social Studies teacher Emily Muellenberg organized a "Mockus" to educate children about how the presidential election system works. The students have been following the debates closely, though some admit they've been shocked by rhetoric used on the campaign trail.

"They're pretty much unanimously agree, while it's fascinating to watch, it is bizarre and it's becoming absurd," said Muellenberg. 

The entire school participated in the "Mockus" and students represented each candidate as accurately as possible. However, unlike actual debates that have taken place recently, no insults were allowed towards other students.

"In the morning I don't think most students knew what a caucus was, by the afternoon I think most students knew what a caucus was," Muellenberg said.

In Thursday's GOP debate, insults were hurled by several candidates, the talks reaching the point where candidates were discussing the length of Donald Trump's penis.

Following  debate, even some Republican students were wondering if this was the norm.

"I was a little bit taken back by some of the comments that were made," said Michaela Bailey, Junior at Highlands Ranch High School. "It kind of got more out there and it was just kind of odd."

Some suggested that comments made on the campaign trail were akin to bullying. Founder of "Be A Friend, Make A Friend" Elon Cohen said it's to the point where students are bringing it up. 

"This is the highest office in America, possibly the world. If people get the idea that this is how you talk to each other, that's not pro-social," Cohen said. "In the eyes of the public, I don't think anyone has seen it on this level before. It's very disturbing and it's also disturbing to students we've come across."

Cohen also said it's against bullying rules in the state. If similar comments were heard being made student to student, there could be disciplinary action.

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