Students to Convene at Ohio Statehouse for Civics Competition
COLUMBUS (Jan. 25, 2024) – What were the influences and origins of the Ohio Constitution? How has our understanding of the 14th Amendment changed with time? What should the role of history and tradition be in our interpretation of the Constitution?
These are a sampling of the questions that high school students have been preparing to answer at the 2024 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Competition to be held Friday, February 2nd at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Over 160 students from seven different schools will participate: Archbold High School (Fulton County), Belmont High School (Montgomery County), David H Ponitz Career & Technical School (Montgomery County), Findlay High School (Hancock County), Ravenna High School (Portage County), St. Francis DeSales (Franklin County), and Van Wert High School (Van Wert 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 will include college professors, judges, attorneys, and other community leaders.
“Opportunities like this for our young people to express their views about our Constitution and to engage in dialogue about such important questions are rare in our modern world,” said Ryan Suskey, Director of Professional Development & Programs with OCLRE. “If we expect them to be our next leaders and thinkers, we must create space for them now to become active participants in the conversations that will shape our future.”
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 13th through the 15th 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.