Many can't actually vote yet, but students from Antioch's two high schools participated in recent mock elections.

On campuses at Antioch and Deer Valley, hundreds got to vote on such big-ticket issues as president.

Leading up to the event, Antioch High teachers thoroughly covered the school's modified ballot. "Students discussed, debated, read and thought about all before the electorate this season," government teacher Cathy Fitzgerald said.

More than 1,400 votes were cast the Friday before last Tuesday's general election.

She said "the students continue to vote more consistently with the Democratic Party and a more liberal political ideology as does this region.

"The students are in a high school that is in desperate need of renovation ... working in a California public school that seems to manage quality instruction even with its skeletal staff and absence of resources. Public school teachers today make 'MacGyver' look like a two-bit carnival magician."

And, with that in mind, Measure B (the bond to modernize Antioch High) and Proposition 30 (the statewide tax measure with money earmarked for California schools) respectively garnered 79 percent and 56 percent of the students' votes.

Other victors in the Antioch High election were Barack Obama with 69 percent and Sen. Diane Feinstein with 72 percent.

Fitzgerald said she has worked on a few campaigns and said "I cannot think of a better standards-based instructional activity than to have students actually walk into a polling place and cast a ballot, as I hope so many do once they get of voting age."

At Deer Valley's Law and Justice Academy, students held a large election event in late October.

The 11th- and 12th-graders worked the event, which was spearheaded by lead teacher Jodiann Beeson.

In an email, Beeson said that the academy focused on the election process and the propositions and candidates that appeared on the November ballot. Students were put into groups, which were "assigned one side of a proposition or a candidate, which they prepared arguments or a statement for. ... Each student kept a journal that spanned cross-curricular, with entries including current events, notes on researching, the debates, and reflections on the process."

The final project was presented in the school's Mock Election Voter Information Guide.

The guide was prepared by students Collin McElroy, Samuel Johnson and Ray Tagle.

SEEING RED: Carmen Dragon Elementary recently celebrated Red Ribbon Week.

The Antioch school's student council planned and organized all the activities, which included an array of daily themes such as Crazy Hair Day, Sunglasses Day, and Team Up Against Drugs.

One daily theme -- Run Away from Drugs -- included more than 230 students running an obstacle course.

Each morning Adam Nawabi, student council president, announced prize winners and delivered a Red Ribbon message.

"It's been a great week ... reminding everyone to live a healthy and drug free life," teacher Maureen Larmour said.

BEHIND THE SCENES: MADD representatives recently made two presentations at LaPaloma High.

Students at the Brentwood school heard about the dangers of alcohol and driving, plus the hazards of texting, listening to loud music, crowded cars and speeding while behind the wheel.

Liberty Union's Sarah Singrin said the event went well, and that the district will probably make it an annual program.

If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net. You can also reach Judith Prieve at jprieve@bayareanewsgroup.com.