Congressman Sanford Bishop pays visit to Bainbridge High School, speaks to classes

Published 9:56 am Monday, November 7, 2022

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As election day draws near, political candidates from all sides are increasing their time on the campaign trail. Congressman Sanford Bishop is no different, though his most recent stops have been slightly out of the norm. This past Wednesday, the representative paid visits to multiple high schools in the area, ranging from Cairo High School to Decatur County’s own Bainbridge High School.

Bishop and members of his campaign were welcomed by principal Chris Merritt and Smsgt Scott Morehouse, and paid visits to two US history classes, as well as the BHS AFJROTC.

“When I went to college, I understood one thing in Political Science 101, the definition of politics,” Bishop said. “It’s real simple. Politics is nothing more, and nothing less, than who gets what, when, and how. That strips it down to its least common denominator. Who gets healthcare, who gets education, who gets roads built, who gets economic opportunity, who gets tax breaks.”

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He continued, recounting how he first got involved in school politics. “When I was in the fifth grade, they needed a representative from the fifth grade on the student council of the elementary school. My classmates selected me, even though I didn’t campaign for it,” he said. The congressman continued to discuss how he eventually got elected into office. He concluded each of his speeches to each class by reciting the poem “A Bag of Tools”, which emphasizes the important decisions and changes everyone can make.

“These young people make up 30% of our population and 100% of our future,” Bishop told the Post-Searchlight, “and I want to demonstrate my investment and my hope for them. That’s why I want to offer words of encouragement, for them to be all that they can be.” He continued, “They’ve got resources, great resources here, and they’ve got a great school system, great leadership, and a great foundation. I just want them to use this opportunity to make a difference in their community, their state, and their nation.”

“We always welcome state and local government representatives to Bainbridge High School to promote government and the overall process to our students,” BHS principal Chris Merritt told the Post-Searchlight afterward. “These opportunities provide a hands-on experience for these leaders to educate our students on specifically what their position entails.”

He continued to emphasize the significance of the visit, saying, “Opportunities such as this are a great experience for our students to understand better what their government officials do for them daily. This experience also provides an opportunity for our elected officials to meet students or be exposed to our students who could apply for one of the five military academies, such as the United States Air Force Academy.” Merritt elaborated on this, saying, “For instance, approximately 10,000 students traditionally apply for the Air Force Academy, with only 1,000 being accepted. Bainbridge High School has the rare opportunity to have a senior student going through the United States Air Force Academy application process. Applicants who have congressional endorsement have a better chance of being accepted into the academy.”

Congressman Bishop went on to visit Miller and Seminole County high schools after leaving Bainbridge.