One Camera, 11 Students: The National Public Radio Interviews PPCHS


Valerie Questell, News Editor

 As Mr. Quigley and his AP Government students prepare for a new unit on landmark Supreme Court cases, a select few were chosen to speak to the National Public Radio (NPR) on the notorious Roe v. Wade case. On February 9th, Katia Riddle, a reporter from NPR, Zoomed into Mr. Quigley’s classroom, filled with 11 seniors. The camera was in the center of the room. Although the interview was not live-streamed, the pressure was on as each student only had a short amount of time to answer the questions. 


   First, “What have you learned and liked about AP Government?” asked the reporter.


   Dylan Padron opens the discussion, “This course goes in-depth with the information of the real world. We are the future and the reason why these things happen.” 


   Meakayla Ambroise adds, “I really enjoyed learning about, instead of how long a bill takes to be passed, but why it needs to be passed.”


   Then, Riddle furthers the discussion with the steaming question,

   “College Board decided not to include a Roe v. Wade question in the AP Government exam. How do you feel about this?”


   Jamellia Fletcher was quick to answer this question. “Roe v. Wade should be taught to not only women but also men and everyone else,” she said. “AP Government even goes as far as [covering] intersectionality, why not Roe v Wade?”


   Brian Grana found the opportunity to take a turn at this question. “When we study cases, it is more about the actual law, not civil rights,” he said. “Instead of just removing Roe v. Wade questions on the exam, they should include or exchange the question for another topic women’s rights.”


   Mia Gutierrez points out the common knowledge learned throughout high school. “We always talk about the difference between state and federal powers. This case shows the improper balance of state and federal government, which is a main point of why it should still be on the exam,” she said. “Because it is a controversial topic, it’s even more important to teach since it teaches us, students, how to cooperate with other[s’] opinions and recognize them.”


   “How do you feel about abortion?” carefully asked Riddle, waiting for a brave soul to come up to the microphone. 


   Diana Angel stood up. “Abortions save more lives than [they kill],” Angel said. “Women matter too. Healthcare is the most important. A woman is alive. A fetus, you could lose a fetus to a miscarriage.” 


“Does anyone disagree?”


The students went silent.


   “Given that College Board made this decision, how does this impact students like yourselves?”

   Diana Angel continued to elaborate on her previous statement. “Even though it was overturned, it’s a missed opportunity to teach,” she said. “Other cases could be overturned, such as presidential ones, but we would still learn about it.”


   Miguel Beane answered this question from a different perspective. The room suddenly became a courthouse. “I feel like it should be left up to the states, not the federal government. The government shouldn’t speak for millions of women; however, the states are better at representing the people that are under it,” he said. “However, I do think that Roe v. Wade should still be taught. It was history.”


   Christian Manuel began to target the College Board for its action. “The College Board isn’t interested in its students. That being, removing Roe v. Wade wasn’t a decision to protect students from an unfair question. There have had to be different reasoning,” he said.“Personally, I would take the difficulty to learn this topic because I pride my education.”


   Anthony Tinghitella found the opportunity to reduce this taboo topic to a simpler circumstance. “If I like math or don’t like math, I still have to be educated. That’s how we grow as people. Learning about things that sometimes we may not want to.”


   Miguel Beane concludes the discussion and tension in the air. “This is a real problem right now. We may have similar opinions in this room but also have oppositions. That doesn’t mean we should hate them. Just like College Board, just because some people don’t agree, that question itself of abortion should not be polarized from the exam.”


   All throughout the interview, the PPCHS seniors showed their value for their education. Mr. Quigley has made the decision to continue teaching this case and to keep his students aware of the latest topics to ensure they will leave his AP Government class as informed citizens.