How well do you know the U.S. Constitution?
While most Americans comprehend that the Constitution protects their rights, few can readily cite the history, laws and politics that have shaped that document’s 27 amendments.
But 126 Kentucky middle and high school students from six area schools who took part in We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution definitely know their Constitution and are adept at discussing its democratic principles.
The Dec. 11 event, hosted by the McConnell Center, is a series of student presentations that simulate a congressional hearing. Community representatives who have expertise in law, history and/or politics act as congressional committee members. They hear the presentations and then question the students, encouraging them to defend their positions.
Glenn Manns, a social studies consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education and coordinator for We The People, said teachers and students who participate make a big time commitment.
“It’s a lot of work but there’s a lot of payout too,” he said. “The content is important but the skills are what matter most. This is the absolute best example of how to take part in civil discourse.”
High school teams that compete and win on the state level can compete in the program’s national finals in Washington, D.C. We The People is a national program sponsored by the Center for Civic Education.
Manns said the McConnell Center’s willingness to host the event has been a big help. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the support we’ve had from the McConnell Center,” he said.
The McConnell Center often offers and supports civic education programs for teachers, students and the public.
Fort Thomas Highlands High School took first place in the Dec.11 competition and Mount Washington-based Bullitt East was the runner up.
Eastside, also located in Mount Washington, took first place in the middle school competition. See photos from the event here.