2015 Class Statements

Following the completion of the pre-Forum lesson, the classes compose class statements, an articulation of the consensus the students have reached regarding their concerns, values, and priorities for America. Class statements are submitted prior to the forum at the State Capitol. Following the forum, students will continue discussion in the classroom and then participate in a Student Ballot and ultimately frame their own “Future Five” statements. These are often framed as letters to elected officials.

The following are class statements from our 2015 Capitol Forum schools.


Holdrege High School

Class: American Government ’15

Teacher: Chad Bailey

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

Immigration, Environment, Trading, Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

All five topics are important to the United States, Holdrege students focused on immigration and Terrorism.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

It was discussed that of the five topics that the Environment was the least important.

Class Statement

We as a class at Holdrege High School are focused on Immigration and Terrorism.  In today’s society the challenge of an appropriate Immigration policy is very important. We as a nation can not continually adjust to an Immigration policy which changes only when there is a new administration.  At the same time we are facing Terrorism or the threats of Terrorism on a daily basis.  Our country must adjust to the changing world and the decisions will affect our nation for a very long time.


Norfolk Senior High School

Class: AP Government

Teacher: Kathy Steinkamp

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

International Issues we discussed are trade, immigration, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation, helping other countries with their economy, terrorism, and environmentally.

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

Issues that we agreed are important becoming more economically stable, retaining our position as a world power, and making a more stable and safe world environmentally, and in regards to terrorism.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

Issues we agreed are less important:

a.) helping or assisting other countries financially or environmentally until we’re economically stable

b.)getting involved in world problems (war, poverty etc.) that do not affect us.

Class Statement

With the current state of the world, the U.S. is presented with many problems in all corners of America ranging from the environment to nuclear proliferation. For several years people have not been able to present a plan that would ensure a healthy prosperous America. Our plan sets forth solutions that are not only beneficial, but are also reasonable.

Regarding international trade, the U.S.’s primary concern will be keeping our economy on top. This will happen through an increased self-reliance. We will start by providing as much of our own energy and food as possible.

America will help the environment by conducting independent research and become a leader in the field of renewable energy and being green. In order to firmly establish this environmental reform we will have a national program focused on developing renewable energy and sustainable farming solutions and encourage other countries to do the same. In the long run, this plan will work hand-in-hand with our goal of decreasing the American debt.

We will tighten restrictions on immigration, making sure that our immigrants will benefit America and not take advantage of our generosity. When our country has reached a satisfactory level of economic stability, we will help other countries ensure that their citizens do not feel that they must leave in order to obtain a better life.

Part of ensuring a better life for everyone world wide is taking on the problem of nuclear warfare. Our solution will require the U.S. to continue its decrease of nuclear weapons and encourage other nations make these changes as well. With this change comes the need to shift our focus from offensive weapons to defensive equipment and tactics.

Our shift of focus from offensive warfare to defensive tactics will also help us stop and prevent terrorism around the world. Americans should be concerned with the defense and well being of our country, and this can best be accomplished by collaborating with other world influences to take down the offensive front of terrorist countries. However, when it comes to the United States’ offensive involvement in terrorist countries we must evaluate the situation based on how it will affect our country and how forcefully our country will be impacted.

In conclusion, America cannot wait for other countries to take the lead. This will leave us without influence and in a state of dependence. It is important for the United States to take the reigns on the issues confronting us and put in place a set of rules that are both beneficial and reasonable.


Wilcox-Hildreth High School

Class: Junior U.S. Histroy

Teacher: Ken Meyers

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

We discussed the environment, trade, terrorism, both legal and illegal immigration and the challenges of nuclear weapons and the impact each had on the role the United States should be playing in the world today. Couple of the students felt the United States should flex its muscles more. If the United States is the leader of the world, we need to start expressing our expectations even more.  We are very concern how the current government want to downplay the leadership that the U.S. has played and today do longer is view with respect by not only our allies but by most nations.

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

Not all of the class agreed to one specific issue as being important. We all have different views as to the reason why issues are important, e.g. farming and its impact on the environment, question who is a terrorist, impact of possible EPA regulation on our life style and economy, e.g.  “cap and trade,”  higher emission standard on coal-fire electric generation plants, global warming, etc..

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

We feel that all issues discussed are important in someway. Therefore we felt that all issues need to be continually debated.

Class Statement

We believe that the United States has to play a major role in the world today. We are a major economic and military power which leaves us in a position to stand up for the underdog. The question is: At what risk? We believe the United States needs to respect other nations in order to receive the respect we once had been shown. We feel that the United States faces huge obstacles addressing terrorism as a home grown issue as well as at the world wide level. One major issue is dealing with the radical extremist like ISIS and BOKO HURAM.  In order to protect the people of our nation our National Security Agency needs to focus on identifying those potential threats more effectively.  We feel the National Government needs to develop a comprehensive immigration law to deal with the illegal immigration issue. We feel this is the only way to addressed  the citizenship issue. We feel there is a need to enforce the current Non-Proliferation Treaties and any agreement made with countries such as Iran and/or North Korea, that a strong verification component needs to be in place.


Bellevue West High School

Class: 21st Century World Studies

Teacher: Brenna Dacey

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

As students enrolled in 21st Century World Studies, we learned about topics such as, nuclear weapons and proliferation, terrorism, environmental dangers, immigration, and international trade in the modern world.

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

Of all the present issues, we decide that terrorism, immigration, and nuclear weapons are the most pressing issues to modern society.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

We agreed that certain issues related to the environment, while still important, are not as pressing as other topics.

Class Statement

As a community representing the ideas of Bellevue West Senior High School, we have come to the decision that issues presented, terrorism, immigration, and nuclear weapons, must be addressed with a critical mindset and sound decision making skills.  Keeping in mind the lives of every American and all those involved, are dependent on the choices that our generation make for the future.


Sterling High School

Teacher: Arlo Wusk

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

Immigration, Terrorism, Global Environmental Problems, and Nuclear Proliferation

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

We believe that all of these issues are very important to our nation’s future.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

No, we believe they are all equally important.

Class Statement

As students of Sterling High School, we acknowledge that the issues we’ve discussed are all important and affect our society and the future of our nation equally. These issues include immigration, terrorism, global environmental problems, and nuclear proliferation. It is important that we resolve these issues that affect our world today by learning about the history and the past mistakes of these events. The United States has been the superior country for many years. We have worked together through the tough times of immigration policies, terrorism, global environmental problems, and nuclear threats. As a result, we are seen as the leader and we set an example for other countries to strive to meet the world’s expectations. Every nation should work together to resolve these problems. Resolving the issue of terrorism could also help with nuclear proliferation. Immigration and global environment problems are always difficult problems to settle. There are very different opinions of solutions for each of these issues. For immigration, we think we need to set laws enforcing boundaries of nearby countries. However, we rely on immigrants for cheap labor. For global environmental problems, we think we should work to reduce pollution and global warming. Each of these issues has a domino effect; if we work together, gradually these issues can be solved and we can achieve a better world for the next generations to come.


Nebraska Lutheran High School

Class: American Government

Teacher: Maggie Rasmussen

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

Global Environment, Ebola, nuclear weapons, North Korea, terrorism, ISIS, international trade, immigration, spreading democracy

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

Terrorism, ISIS, international trade, and immigration.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

We viewed all of these issues as important, however we felt that one of the issues of less importance to us currently is the global environment.

Class Statement

We believe that the US should be more focused on cooperation and protection for both ourselves and our allies. These values should show in our stance in our policies having to do with terrorism, trade agreements, and immigration. Our terrorism policies should be in the best interests of both America and those living near known terrorist groups, and also look for cooperation with countries affected by such groups. We should look for similar cooperation with countries we have established trade agreements to further open up trade between other nations. While dealing with immigration issues we should cooperate with those immigrating and find a compromised solution.


Louisville High School

Class: 12th Grade American Government/ Modern Problems

Teacher: Nicholas Bausch

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

  • Terrorism
  • Nuclear Proliferation
  • Immigration
  • International Trade
  • Global Environment
  • United Nations

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

We believe that protecting U.S. security and interests are important, as are maintaining alliances and our image in the world. As a result we see our actions taken on account of terrorism and nuclear weapons to have far reaching impact.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

While we believe that all of these issues are important, we currently see international trade and environmental issues as having the least immediate impact on U.S. interests.

Class Statement

We believe that protecting U.S. interests at home and abroad should be our nation’s first priority. Our ability to be a leader on various issues is dependent upon our own economic and political strength. It is only through our own development that we will have the resources and power capable to defend allies and assert influence on other nations. International cooperation and development are secondary considerations to our own interests and developments.


Hemingford High School

Class: American Government

Teacher: Mr. Chatelain

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

U.S. Role in the Changing World

International Trade: Competition and Cooperation in a Globalized World

U.S. Immigration Policy in an Unsettled World

The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons

Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

International Trade, Terrorism

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?


Class Statement

As students of Hemingford High School our belief as Nebraskans would be to preserve the integrity of our homeland. The State of Nebraska’s economic focus is to strengthen global trade as the Cornhusker State’s products are being consumed all over the world. Domestic security must be priority one as it has been proven over and over by the constant threat that international terrorism presents our homeland. A number of countries are taking steps to acquire both offensive and defensive nuclear capabilities. We believe that steps must be taken to limit the access to this potentially dangerous scenario. As the number one destination of both legal and illegal immigration, we believe it is vital to develop a consistent solution approach to this problem. Immigrants who want to come legally, must have the chance to get here if qualified, those who attempt to come illegally must be stopped. We believe that our country is constantly changing and that we must be vigilant to see that that choice is for the overall good.


Hampton High School

Class Statement

It is our goal to create a cooperative and equal world for all by being  democratic, while not imposing democratic ideals on other nations. We will lead by example to  create a cooperative, equal, and free world.

Trade: We support free and fair trade, even if that means the price of goods goes up for a while.  Some people may argue that trade is unfair because the small countries don’t get the chance to  compete on the international level. When everyone trades cooperatively with one another,  countries can get supplies they are not able to produce on their own. Our goal is make everyone  as equal and free as possible so they can compete internationally with other countries.

Terrorism: We will not act unilaterally or preemptively. If we are attacked, then we will address  the roots of the issue. We will connect with the leaders of the nations from which the terrorists  are coming from. We will negotiate with the United Nations about how to cooperatively solve the  issue at hand.

Immigration: We have an open doors policy. We believe that citizenship should be granted to  those who take and pass a test. We want to improve other countries economies so that they  don’t have to come to the U.S. Allowing immigration gives the U.S. companies an advantage in  opening export markets because it gives the U.S. a taste and preference of potential consumers  worldwide. By improving other countries economies we open the door to skilled workers who  want to come to the U.S. and by allowing skilled workers in we also improve our economy. We  should adjust the immigration laws to allow people who haven’t been allowed into the U.S.  because of past restrictions.

Environment: We want to grow the environment as well as the economy. If we develop  environmentally sound technologies, it will help the United States create more jobs, thus helping  the economy grow as well. If we dedicate ourselves to the environment it will strengthen  America’s reputation as a generous country and more countries will want to trade with us.  Helping industrializing countries to pursue environmentally friendly development will improve the  health of people in poor countries and the need for aid with be vanished, so then we can focus  on our economy and our people. Agreeing with countries on global environmental problems will  help towards greater cooperation with other international problems. If we concentrate on the  economic muscle of the U.S. by protecting the global environment it will help establish free and  fair trade.

Nuclear Weapons: We don’t believe in using or having nuclear weapons. All though we can’t  go back in the past and stop countries from making nuclear weapons, but we would like to  dismantle, dispose and safely store the current nuclear weapons. For the future we want to pass  the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which bans all explosions of nuclear weapons. If certain  countries such as Iran and North Korea don’t cooperate with the International arms control  agreements we will clear it with the UN and our allies before taking action.


Howells-Dodge High School

Class: Current Issues

Teacher: Scott Polacek

What specific international issues did your class discuss?

Terrorism, Nukes, Trade, National Debt, Immigration

Are there issues that you agreed are important? If so, what are they?

ISIS.  This is the main concern of the USA right now.

Did you agree that some issues are less important? If so, which ones?

The environment is just a little less important at this time.

Class Statement

We at HDC feel that the United States needs to cooperate with the rest of the world in order to defeat ISIS and the spread of terrorism. Our national debt is too high, and it decreases our ability to take the proper action. Nuclear weapons should be in the hands of the people that we can trust. If the United Nations were more assertive, the world would be a safer place. Democracy is effective. Wealthy nations need to assist the more impoverished nations.  Helping them pursue more green technologies & educating nations will stop the spread of disease.  Working together strengthens everyone.


West Holt High School

Class: Modern Problems

Teacher: Chris Nemetz

Class Statement

We the West Holt class of 2015, in order to form a more perfect world believe that we need to address the issues of immigration, our national debt, terrorism, and healthcare. In order to fix immigration, we need to evolve our immigration process and update the limits for our current situation on how many immigrants may enter. Our national debt is a considerable burden on the United States. It is a topic that nearly every American knows is a problem. Yet, in our federal budget, we only pay off the interest, and have taken no measure to actually pay off our debt. We as a class believe we should take a very aggressive stance on terrorism, and their presence in the world causes unrest. Terrorists have directly attacked the Unites States and our beliefs, therefore, making this an issue for all Americans. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, healthcare is a necessity. The Affordable Healthcare Act was a step forward in the healthcare process, but we need to continue to progress our healthcare system because of the flaws it does have in it. The ability to adapt is what makes the United States the strongest country in the world. The world would ultimately fail if the United States failed, so we must continue to adapt. We now ordain and establish this Class Statement for the West Holt class of 2015.




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