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February 16, 2017

Middle schoolers continued their civility curriculum with a day devoted to better understanding the legislative process. “A lot of what happens with politics seems to become invisible once an election ends,” Greg Davis, middle school language arts teacher, said, “but of course getting elected is just a beginning, not an end. After being elected, politicians then need to come together and make things work despite their different priorities.”

The goal for the day was to create a miniature version of how the legislative process works. In the weeks leading up to the event, students met as Young Democrats and Young Republicans to create their party platforms and draft laws they intended to propose. The day of Legislating and Governing with Civility, upper school students involved in Ohio Youth in Government served as leaders for middle school groups discussing important issues on the state, national, and international level. Topics addressed included:

Immigration Policy
Environmental & Economic Policy
Public Safety & Law Enforcement
Education
Equality & Equity
Health Care & Ethics
1st Amendment Issues
2nd Amendment Issues

Committees then met to draft mock bills relating to selected issues that were later presented before an audience and distinguished panel consisting of Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther P ‘29 and veteran republican stateswoman Jo Ann Davidson. The panel debated the merits and downsides of each law and members of the audience cast their votes. Students were asked to carefully consider the wording of each law as well as the logic and evidence presented for or against each law before voting.

Davis was pleased with the outcome of the day. “Students learned about current events issues and also important skills such as arguing respectfully and hearing out other points of view. Our goal was to maintain a positive and engaging academic atmosphere where students could speak to each other in a civil way about political issues our nation is facing.”

Middle School Legislating and Governing with Civility

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