Every year, civics students at Brownstown High School await the infamous unit for bill simulations. Each person becomes a senator and must be addressed as such. Students are assigned to their party and put into a group of four. Together the students form a new bill, gather information, and draft it on paper. Then, the debating begins as each group goes before the entire class of congress members to convince them to support their bill. If the bill passes the class, it's fate falls into the hands of the President, and teacher, Mr. Toby Harms.
The topics vary every year, depending on the students. This year, the bills range from raising the legal soda drinking age to sixteen years old, banning drug testing for welfare recipients, establishing an embargo with nations violating civil rights or sponsoring terrorism, to a change in the insanity plea. Mr. Harms comes back to this assignment each year because he believes it is important to illustrate the long process it takes to pass a bill, and to show that laws are not just reckless demands of the president, but rather a well thought out procedure carried out by Congress. If you're interested in seeing the political chaos, stop by during first hour and witness the students engage in heated debate.
by Harley Brandt and Addison Cage
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