Bar News - February 19, 2010
Milford Once Again Represents NH at We the People
Milford High School took its third straight state title when the school’s team won the "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" state finals on Jan. 5.
A member of Milford’s team is congratulated following the teams’ victory.
The team will represent New Hampshire in the National Finals April 24-26 in Arlington, Virginia.
The culminating event, a mock congressional hearing, requires students to make brief presentations and answer questions posed by panels of lawyers, judges and other professionals on the origins, principles and interpretations of the United States Constitution in a forum similar to a congressional hearing. Each student that is part of a class entered in the program must participate in the oral presentations, which require them to discuss sophisticated political science concepts and offer their own opinions on how the Constitution might be interpreted in hypothetical or actual situations derived from current events.
Twenty-three students from Milford High School participated this year. They outscored classes from Nashua High School North and John Stark Regional High School in Weare.
Including the preliminary district competition held Dec. 11, more than 100 students participated in district and state hearings this year. Gorham Middle High School also participated in the hearings which, on both dates, took place at the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
State Senator Robert Letourneau (R-Derry), one of the judges, made the presentation to the winning students who are taught by David Alcox.
But the program touches many more students and teachers than those who made it to Concord. We the People is more than a culminating event, says Robin Knippers, Law Related Education coordinator for the NH Bar Association. It is a curriculum that many teachers use in their classrooms, relying on textbook sets provided by the NHBA at no charge to the schools, with the costs borne by the Center for Civic Education. Knippers said she has distributed more than 50 We the People textbook sets to NH schools this year, the highest number yet, with orders still being received.
The Center, which receives federal funding, also provides grants to the NHBA to conduct the hearings, which included a district, or preliminary round, in December.