The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

Richard Dreyfuss speaks to Mr. Rabalais' class about the Dreyfuss Initiative.

Carly Smith

Brett Walker

In 1975, Richard Dreyfuss was an oceanographer in Jaws. In 1995, he played a music teacher in Mr. Holland’s Opus. Now, in 2011, he speaks to high school civics classes about political activism and preserving individual rights.

“Why are you taught anything about politics? Because for an overwhelming amount of human history you were not,” Mr. Dreyfuss said. “Because you are the final arbiter of political power you are the sovereign ruler in this country.”

On Wednesday, the Academy Award winner visited Craig Rabalais’ AP Government class, where he observed their political orientation and socialization lesson.

“I was really excited to see Richard Dreyfuss because he’s one of my favorite actors. I was vaguely aware of his political activism, but after seeing him, it’s definitely made him a more interesting person and I’ll certainly stay more politically aware,” senior Ian Cook said.

Students who already participate in politics and have taken AP Government discussed the difference in conservatism and liberalism and their origins while Dreyfuss observed.

“I just liked the overall atmosphere created by the class and the obvious intelligence, and I like Dreyfuss himself,” senior Garrett Weaver said. “Dreyfuss’s overall point I liked. I already vote, and I’ll keep up with current events.”

Following the class discussion, Mr. Dreyfuss spoke to the seniors about his initiative. He started his cause to promote individual rights in 2006, when he felt they were being violated by the national government.

“No matter who you are—or what you’ve got or what you think—you know sooner or later thinking makes your head hurt, and you fall back on the nearest prejudice,” Mr. Dreyfuss said. “The problem here is that this form of government [democratic republic] asks more of its ruler-to-be, you, than any form of government that has ever been in place.”

Mr. Dreyfuss also discussed with students aspects of the media and how money plays a role in political debate.

“How are you going to get the subtle knowledge if the channel of communication can be simply shut down? Are we protecting differing opinions or are we protecting the richest candidate?” Richard Dreyfuss asked the class. “Profit is expected and demanded from the news.”

He finished his speech to the class with a beckoning for youth to become more active in government, quoting only 15 percent of high schools offer civics courses.

“You are now feeling that you are without any power. You feel that you have no right to ask questions you feel you have no right until you get an answer. You have rights that you don’t have any knowledge of. And if you don’t do something about then this country becomes like every other country,” Mr. Dreyfuss said. “In order for you to maintain the miracle that this country is – the political miracle which made kings all over the world sleepless and uneasy- is that we gave political power to you and said if you could get here, you could rise as high as heaven.”

[nggallery id=18]

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    News

    StuCo Revamps Pep Rallies

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    Personalities

    Edison Grant: Small Screen Dreams

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    News

    Senior Qualifies as National Merit Semifinalist

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    Blogs & Columns

    All Summer Long

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    Blogs & Columns

    Review: Legacy Students’ Favorite Songs

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    Personalities

    Noah Batson: Finding His Match

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    Blogs & Columns

    Sophomore Year

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    Features

    Depression: A Common Misconception

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    LBTV

    LBTV: Weekly Bronco Minute 9/14

  • Dreyfuss Shares Civic Initiative With Legacy Students

    How to Adult

    How To Adult: First Aid