GREEN BAY – The downtown Walmart debate has made its way into the classroom.
Green Bay Preble High School marketing students have done their homework on Walmart and its desire to build in the city’s downtown.
“It’s the best option for us right now,” said Alex Wood, a Preble junior.
“It would be an eyesore,” said Sam Jones, a Preble junior.
Teacher Mark Bonetti says instead of textbooks, the Walmart issue is helping teach terms like pricing, economics, and wages.
“It became evident this would be a great opportunity to use this real world example and have the students learn about it, study both sides of the issue and come up with an opinion,” said Bonetti.
“He kind of gave us pros and cons of both of it, so we could decide on our own which way we wanted it and it really helped with marketing too just to see how it’s a real life thing,” said Kaylee Sinclair, a sophomore.
Students didn’t just take sides, they each had to advocate for their side by writing a letter to Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.
“I think it was really cool that we had the opportunity to write to the mayor because sometimes your voice just kind of goes unheard if you’re a high school student,” said Cami Veldhuizen, a junior.
“Seeing what we think and how we feel, I hope he considers our opinions when he makes the decision,” said Randy Bialcik, a junior.
Mayor Schmitt told FOX 11 he has read the letters. He says the students’ research should play a role in what happens.
“This is a 50-year decision that these kids are going to want to live with,” said Schmitt. “I think the public should read these letters because their very interesting and insightful.”
Bonetti says he doesn’t want to say what side of the debate had more students. He’s just impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm toward a community issue.
“The students had both sides of the issue covered,” said Bonetti. “Many people were for it, many people were against it.”