Congress in Action Puts Students in Government

Proposals were made, rebuttals presented and opinions offered as high school seniors participated in Congress in Action, a realistic replica of the United States Congress. 

Participants used research and writing skills to prepare bills that they presented to their peers, lobbying for votes to help those bills pass, while rebutters worked against the bills. Topics ranged from having armed security guards in schools to prison reform and from paying college athletes to changing school starting times. Each presenter had well researched facts to back their proposals and their adversaries were just as well prepared to take the bills down.

Once all audience members had time to make comments for or against each bill, a vote was taken to determine if the bill would pass. By the end of the activity, students had a true feel for how Congress works. Keeping with the workings of the actual government, a Rules Committee kept order throughout the proceedings. Members of that committee included Speaker of the House Antonia LoCascio, Clark Brennan, Thomas DeLancey, Ava Famiglietti, Thomas Placilla, Stephen Porko and Timber Zino.

Social studies teacher Robert Buonaspina coordinated the program and said that the students were dedicated to making the event as realistic as possible. “Congress in Action offers students an opportunity to learn the inner working of our government and to enhance many important skills such as research, writing and public speaking,” he said.