LEXINGTON, S.C. — Testifying before a critical panel of judges can make even veteran politicians sweat a little, but students from Lexington County School District One’s Center for Law and Global Policy Development proved they have what it takes.
Students attending the center, located at River Bluff High School, won their second state championship on January 5, 2017, during the annual “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” competition. The win gives the center its second consecutive title after sending a team to “We the People” for the first time last year.
Sponsored by the South Carolina Bar’s Law Related Education division, “We the People” allows students to gain a deeper understanding of American government and how constitutional democracy affects their daily lives.
During the culminating activity, students participate in a simulated congressional hearing. They testify before a panel of judges to showcase their knowledge and defend their position on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
This year’s “We the People” team from the center consisted of 20 students — 19 seniors and one junior. Not satisfied with being the reigning state champions just once, they put in countless hours of extra study time and practice. In addition to taking the top prize, the team also received a Best Unit award for five units of study.
“Our students were willing to learn from the students who participated last year and use their advice to improve their performance. They put in a lot of work to prepare to be successful,” Center for Law and Global Policy Development Teacher Linsy Dooley said.
According to the list of past champions, teams repeat as state winners every so often. The Center for Law and Global Policy Development, however, accomplished the rare feat of winning back-to-back titles in its first two years of competition.
“There is nothing like seeing your students reap the rewards of their hard work,” Center for Law and Global Policy Development Lead Teacher Meg Huggins said.
Participating in the interactive “We the People” program allows students at the center to exercise the important skills of analytical thinking and collaboration while taking an in-depth look at the U.S. Constitution. During the simulation, students also have the opportunity to engage with lawyers, judges, college professors and other law professionals.
The team will now represent South Carolina in the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” National Finals, April 21–25, 2017, in Washington, D.C.