South Dakota high school students put Governor Mike Rounds in the hot seat today grilling him on important political issues. The young participants view this televised question-and-answer session as an important way to get connected to the political process.
The Little Theater here at Washington High School turned into a TV studio with South Dakota kids in the spotlight, right along with their views and questions on politics.
Reilly Licha, Roosevelt High School student: "What are you doing to protect the water quality in South Dakota?"
South Dakota Public TV broadcast this student forum live. The panel of journalism students had to work out a few butterflies before the questioning began.
Samantha Goettsch, Washington Junior: "It's amazing, I'm a little nervous but I've been on camera quite a bit so I just think it will be a good time."
The students included topics from the economy to social issues.
Goettsch: "Same sex marriages, do you have any plans for this issue in South Dakota?"
Governor Mike Rounds: "It really does move across a broad range of ideas and suggestions that would indicate that they've been reading the newspapers, they've been watching TV, they've been staying up on current events."
Some of the questions came from young callers from across the state: "I want to know what kind of precautions you're going to take to prevent ecstasy labs like the one found near Marion."
Students in a government class emailed their question: "What are the positive and negative effects of South Dakota on the federal legislation known as "No Child Left Behind."
The give and take between the students and governor sparked an interest in politics and government that often eludes teenagers.
Jordan Feist, Roosevelt Freshman: "I think that most students think that politics is boring, politics don't affect them, they think that they're not old enough to vote and they don't really have a say, but people do need to know they do and still have an influence."
The young panelists hope this televised meeting with the governor will keep their peers from tuning out politics in the future.
If you missed the broadcast of "Kids Quest: A Chat With the Governor" it will be shown again on South Dakota Public TV.