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Duncan, Brumbalow talk coronavirus, homework and government with Forsyth County eighth-graders
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Students at Otwell Middle School listen to Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan speak Thursday, March 5, 2020. (Photo courtesy Crystal Ledford)

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan looked out at nearly 500 students at Otwell Middle School and asked them a question: “How many of you all care anything about politics?”

After a few seconds of silence, Duncan yelled, “That’s the problem!”

Duncan, along with Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow, visited the school Thursday afternoon to talk to students about their role and experiences in local and state government as students are learning about the state’s legislative and executive branches in their Georgia social studies classes.

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Forsyth County resident, speaks to students at Otwell Middle School on Thursday, March 5, 2020. (Photo courtesy Crystal Ledford)

Before giving students advice on how to make change in their communities, Duncan, a Forsyth County resident, talked a little bit about his background.

He said that when he was younger, he never knew that he would end up in politics. For many years after college at Georgia Tech, Duncan earned a living playing baseball for the Florida Marlins and then, after his retirement in the early 2000s, managing a business in Forsyth County.

“That to me is the unique way our government operates in this country,” Duncan said. “You don’t have to be in some sort of royal family. You don’t have to be in some sort of predestined line of success. Anybody, with hard work and focus on the details, can convince people to vote for you to go represent them, and I was one of them.”

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Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow speaks to students at Otwell Middle School on Thursday, March 5, 2020. (Photo courtesy Crystal Ledford)

Duncan and Brumbalow also explained their individual roles to students, reflecting on where their impact or influence lies within the state and the local community.

Brumbalow gave students insight into the importance of a mayor and city council on a community, his day-to-day responsibilities and his other career renovating houses. Brumbalow even got students hopes up by saying that he could possibly ban their teachers from assigning homework, garnering a roar of applause from the kids — right before ultimately dashing their dreams, saying he wouldn’t.

After each of the officials finished speaking, the middle schoolers had the opportunity to ask questions. Hands shot up as the kids started asking more questions about their roles and how the two got into politics. One student even asked Duncan about the Coronavirus and its presence in Georgia, to which Duncan explained that the state has a task force ready to try to manage the threat and fight off fears.