Taking on today’s current events topics, high school seniors imitated the United States government during the 29th annual Congress in Action program. This event allows students to present bills to their peers and lobby them to pass the bill, while a classmate speaks against the bill, trying to persuade the same students to vote against the proposal.
Animal rights, maternity leave, environmental issues, gun control, minimum wage and
abortion were among the topics tackled. As part of their social studies course, students spent weeks researching the topics, ensuring they were familiar enough with the details to provide a persuasive argument as they replicated the House of Representatives congressional system. The student audience members had an opportunity to offer arguments for and against each bill, and to ask questions of each of the congressional representatives who were presenting the bills.
Just as in the United States government, a rules committee kept order and tallied the votes for each bill. Senior Kelly Barker served as speaker of the house, working with fellow committee members Morgan Coll, Gabrielle Dammers, Danielle DeStefanis, Timothy Dunn Jr., Park Farren, Julia Giannoutsos, Seamus Greene and Robert Lapollo.
Social studies curriculum coordinator David Ethé said the annual event teaches students many skills and offers them the opportunity to practice those skills.
“Public speaking, debate, research, writing and oral presentations are fundamental skills required for college and career readiness,” he explained.