We the People finals bring return champions

Déjà vu retained its grip on the winner’s circle after three days of competition at the 2019 Indiana We the People State Finals, which brought nearly 600 middle and high school students to Indianapolis Dec. 8-10.

The team from Cathedral High School captured first place in the high school division. Although the Indianapolis school did not make the list of the top five finishers in 2018, it placed second in the 2017 contest.

However, Fishers High School and Hamilton Southeastern High School teams continued their regular appearance among the top finishers. The 2019 competition ended with Fishers placing second and Hamilton Southeastern third while in the 2018 contest, Hamilton Southeastern captured the top spot and Fishers came in second. In the 2017, Fishers finished first and Hamilton Southeastern came in third.

Meanwhile, Fishers Junior High School extended its streak of first-place finishes. It took top honors in the 2019 competition as it had in 2018, 2017 and 2016. Also appearing again was Brown County Junior High School, which finished third in 2019 and second in both 2018 and 2017.

Fall Creek Junior High School in Fishers, which competed in We the People for the first time in 2017, took home second place honors from the 2019 championship.

The We the People program teaches students in eighth through 12th grade about American history and the U.S. Constitution and includes current events and landmark court cases. Students answer questions in a mock congressional hearing before panels of volunteer judges.

A total of 24 schools competed in the Indiana state competition. The champions of the high school and middle school divisions will now have the opportunity to compete in national contests.

As part of the 2019 state finals, John Tinker, lead plaintiff in Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 593 (1969), addressed the students, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing students’ rights to free speech. Also, the students were able to watch nearly 100 individuals become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony led by Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

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