After the 2016 election, students from two high schools—one in Chicago and the other in rural Wisconsin—took turns visiting each other. The field trips were designed to help students understand each other’s politics and ways of life.
“I thought they would be like hillbillies who would be really rude and closed-minded,” a Chicago girl told WBEZ-FM. “I thought we’d be more accepting, but they’re just as accepting . . . as we are.”
Could the simple act of bringing young people together diminish political polarization and prejudice? Why not create a national exchange program for high-school students in the U.S.? Send teens from Chevy Chase, Md., to small-town Pennsylvania, or from rural Mississippi to Boston. Students would live with a host family, attend local schools, and experience the area’s culture.