Civics competition to take center stage at Ohio Statehouse

Contact: Lisa Eschleman, OCLRE Executive Director, LEschleman@oclre.org; 614-485-3510
 
COLUMBUS (Jan. 22, 2014) – How does the use of committees in Congress promote or undermine the principles of representation, majority rule, and limited government? How do the rights found in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights reflect the influence of natural rights philosophy and classical republicanism? What was the Great Compromise and why was it such a contentious issue at the Philadelphia Convention? 
 
These are but a few of the questions high school students from across the state will answer during the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution state competition to be held Jan. 24 at the Ohio Statehouse. 
 
Six schools will participate in the 2014 state competition: Archbold High School (Fulton County), Bishop Hartley High School (Franklin County), Findlay High School (Hancock County), Northmont High School (Montgomery County), Van Wert High School (Van Wert County) and West Carrollton High School (Montgomery County). The winning school will represent Ohio in the We the People National Finals to be held April 26-28 at George Mason University, outside Washington, DC.
 
We the People enhances students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy and helps them to identify the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” said Lisa Eschleman, executive director of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. “The state competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate their critical thinking, problem-solving and cooperative learning skills necessary to become active, responsible citizens.”
 
We the People, a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, gives students a unique opportunity to participate in simulated congressional hearings. Students showcase their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and to evaluate, present and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. After providing a prepared answer to the competition questions, students undergo questioning by panels of judges including college professors, judges, attorneys, state legislators, and other community leaders, who probe their full comprehension of the topic.
 
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. The Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation sponsor OCLRE. In Ohio, We the People is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information please visit www.oclre.org.

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