2017-05-18 / News

8th Graders to Discuss the Constitution

Montpelier—Could you explain how our government works? That is the challenge Northfield 8th graders face from 9 to 11 next Mondaymorning at the Vermont State House.  They must explain the U.S. Constitution to lawmakers, a member of the Supreme Court, and their principal.
 
“I was scared at first,” said Sabrina Bean, who took part in a previous trip. “We were happy to make it through alive,” her friend Emma Arguin chimed in. But just as they will this year, the entire 8th grade survived. “I enjoyed seeing how the government works in our own state,” said Amelia Wrigley, “It was a great experience.”
 
The annual trip and presentation has become a tradition, a rite of passage for Northfield 8th graders. After working in groups to research one of the key concepts built into the Constitution, they present what they learned to a panel of community judges, who then toss them probing questions about how these concepts work in real life. “All the hard work really paid off in the end,” said Amara Freeman, a Northfield sophomore.
 
In addition to the history and structure of the Constitution, students also research core concepts like natural rights, freedom of speech and religion, and due process. Their panelists this year include Vermont Supreme Court Justice Karen Carroll, Representative Anne Donohue, former Washington County Senator Bill Doyle, and education leaders Dr. Seth Marineau of Washington and Principal Ryan Parkman of Northfield. 

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