By Doug Cooke
Grant High School Constitution Team parent
The Grant High School Constitution Team has earned a spot to compete in the National “We the People” Competition in Washington, D.C. in April.
Schools from across the nation will gather in a competition that simulates a congressional hearing with the judges assessing the depth of students’ understanding of the concepts and implications of the constitution. It is a great opportunity to learn about and develop a good foundation for students’ future roles as citizens and civic leaders in the years ahead. Grant won the national competition last year and they are excited to carry on the tradition.
The students will encounter many complex questions, such as:
Example one: A scholar claims “The language of the constitution permits either an active or a passive executive. A sufficiently vigorous president can overcome various checks and balances of the document without violating its design of limited power.” Do you agree or disagree with this claim? Why? What evidence can you offer to support your response?
Example two: Why have the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Right (1628), and the English Bill of Rights (1689) been called “the landmark English charters of liberty”? What important constitutional rights did they establish?
The cost of the trip for the entire team and volunteer coaches is $65,000. Students’ parents are paying for almost half of it and are fundraising for the remainder. Any support the public can offer will be greatly appreciated. All donations are fully tax-deductible and there are two ways to contribute: Contribute on-line at www.grantboosters.schoolauction.net/con16/give or send checks to: Grant High School Constitution Team, 2245 N.E. 36th Ave., Portland, OR 97212.
Please wish them well as they prepare to take their best to the competition in April.
The “We the People” program is the most extensive education program in the country developed to teach young people about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the principles and values they embody. You can find more information at: www.civiced.org and www.classroomlaw.org.