Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

State Competition Makes Historic Documents Relevant to Teens

Putting their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence to the test, high school students from across the state competed in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution state competition on January 23 at the Ohio Statehouse.

Students from six schools and the Law & Leadership Institute (LLI) program participated in the final competition – simulated congressional hearings before a three-judge panel – showing their understanding of American constitutional democracy and the relevance of the historic documents to their lives.

“They are making their presentation and responding to questions from adults who are lawyers, who are judges, who are members of the General Assembly, and so it’s teaching analytical skills, it’s teaching the ability to talk on your feet and public speaking as well,” Lisa Eschleman, executive director of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) said.

This was the first year for LLI to participate in the state event, and fourth-year LLI student Celeste Kearney of Cincinnati was happy with how the day went for her team.

“I think our team did a very good job of talking with each other. It seemed like all our answers flowed together even though we had separate trains of thought.  We were very prepared for what we did. We did a lot of research, so I think all of our answers were good and coherent,” Kearney said after the competition.

Image of Findlay High School students posing with their trophy

Findlay High School will represent Ohio in the national We the People competition in April.

Image of Findlay High School students posing with their trophy

Findlay High School will represent Ohio in the national We the People competition in April.

This year’s winner, Findlay High School, will represent Ohio in the We the People National Finals to be held April 26-28 at George Mason University, outside Washington, D.C.

Other participating schools included: Archbold High School (Fulton County), Bishop Hartley High School (Franklin County), Northmont High School (Montgomery County), Van Wert High School (Van Wert County), and West Carrollton High School (Montgomery County). In addition to students from the Law & Leadership Institute in Cincinnati, students from the Dayton site also participated.

We the People is a program of the OCLRE, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of the U.S. democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation.

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