Local high school students take part in "We the People" program

By: Rich Molina Email
By: Rich Molina Email

Some local high school students took the ultimate test in Social Studies Wednesday, by pretending to take on members of Congress.

It's called the "We the People" Showcase.

Seniors from Washington High School participated in a pretend Congressional hearing in St. Joseph County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gotsch's courtroom.

Students testified before a panel of judges, acting like U.S. Congressional representatives.

The seniors must show an understanding of the constitution and the history and philosophy behind it.

Judge Gotsch said, “Students who go through this program are more tolerant of others activities, more tolerant of others opinions and more likely to vote than not."

“It really holds them accountable for what they've learned. Instead of memorizing for a test, they are questioned by judges. [They] have to show understanding of material and it makes them more responsible in learning.”

Students spend the semester preparing for the hearing.

The program has been running nationwide for more than 30 years.

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