PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - The presidential and vice presidential debates are over. Or are they? For one middle school, they're just getting started.
The band started playing.
The presidential and vice presidential candidates marched in, followed closely by secret service.
The crowd cheered. Even the press was there. But aren't the debates over? Not for Mayo Middle School.
Organizer Myndy Wooten said they wanted to hold a mock debate so the middle-schoolers could learn firsthand what the issues are.
"We want to create good citizens," said Wooten.
Candidates Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were all there, played by students.
They spent weeks researching campaign agendas. The topics ranged from immigration and education to healthcare.
All four candidates said they came out of the debate with a new respect for the candidate they chose to portray.
"I like how he wants to make it easier for every kid to go to college. I want to go to college, so I think that's going to help a lot in the future," said Robert Sanders (President Obama).
"He overtaxed the rich a lot. By overtaxing the rich, he's not going to improve the lower middle-class and middle-class by overtaxing the rich," said Salem Isaf (Mitt Romney).
The candidates thought their classmates learned a lot by watching them debate.
"I think that now they know somewhat anything about politics and know what different parties stand for," said Max Holloway (Paul Ryan).
Wooten said she's so proud of what these kids have learned about the election.
"For them to get out there and for them to deliver the speeches the way they did, it was outstanding," said Wooten.
Mayo Middle School is also holding a mock election next Tuesday.
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