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Poseyville middle school students to compete in national civics event

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Middle school students from North Posey Junior High School will compete in the National Project Citizen Showcase in August, after winning the state competition on May 17.

Tom Brown’s students used public policy in presenting their project – “What’s the Use of Animal Abuse” – to a panel of three judges at the Indiana Statehouse. The students explained their research and offered alternatives, defeating 16 other teams to become the state champion.  

“There are many people in life who are good at identifying problems but the students that participate in Project Citizen are learning how to identify solutions,” said Andrew Homan, director of civic education for the Indiana Bar Foundation.  “We are proud of the students in Mr. Brown’s class and all of the students that are thinking about how to make their communities a better place to live.”

At the national competition, August 8 - 10 in San Antonio, Texas, students will present for a panel comprised of participants at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

We the People: Project Citizen is a curricular program for middle, secondary, and post-secondary students, youth organizations, and adult groups that promotes responsible participation in state and federal government. Participants study how to monitor and influence public policy though a five-step process from research to implementation.

In a 2006 study of middle and high school students, results found that students participating in Project Citizen increased their level of civic knowledge, improved their civic discourse skills, demonstrated better public policy problem-solving skills and improved their essay writing skills as compared to the control group.

The Indiana Bar Foundation and Indiana’s legal community supports civic education to 6,000 Indiana students annually through this program and its companion curriculum, We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution.

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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