COLUMBUS (Feb. 2, 2023) – What were the problems resulting from the Articles of Confederation? Does it matter whether protected rights are identified in the body of a constitution or in a separate bill of rights?
These are a sampling of the questions that high school students have been preparing to answer at the 2023 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Competition to be held Friday, February 3rd at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Nearly 150 students from nine different schools will participate: Archbold High School (Fulton County), Ayersville High School (Defiance County), Belmont High School (Montgomery County), Findlay High School (Hancock County), Garaway High School (Tuscarawas County), Hillsdale High School (Ashland County), Ravenna High School (Portage County), Van Wert High School (Van Wert County) and West Carrollton High School (Montgomery County).
Students will showcase their understanding of important constitutional principles by presenting and evaluating positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. After providing prepared answers to competition questions, students will then answer follow-up questions in the format of simulated legislative hearings. Competition judges include college professors, judges, attorneys, and other community leaders.
Continuing a practice of the past several years, OCLRE wrote a special question for the Ohio students to tackle based on the state constitution.
“The Ohio Constitution question asks students to explain how their legislators advocate for constituents’ priorities in state government,” said Cheyenne Oechsle, We the People program coordinator. “This understanding is imperative to become proactive members of their communities and state”
The first-place class will represent Ohio at the We the People National Finals, to be hosted by the Center for Civic Education on April 21st through the 24th in Washington, D.C.
We the People is administered in Ohio by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and is a national program of the Center for Civic Education. OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. In Ohio, We the People is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information, please visit www.oclre.org.