Elizabethtown Area High School’s “We the People” team, which won the Pennsylvania state championship, has called off its plans to compete in the national finals in the Washington, D.C., area.
The school district announced the cancelation on Tuesday, March 12. Also canceled were two violin concerts by orchestra students Sean Brown and Jared Wolf to raise money to offset the costs of the trip.
School district spokesman Troy Portser said the personal financial commitment became too great for the students.
The “We the People” competition promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s secondary students. At the national competition, Elizabethtown would have joined teams from the other states in simulated congressional hearings on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The United States Congress will provide rooms on Capitol Hill to the top 10 teams on the third day of competition to express their support for this important civic exercise.
At the national event, students prepare and deliver brief opening statements onconstitutional questions and community scholars (professors, federal judges, attorneys, etc.) respond to the opening statements with follow-up questions. The competition judges probe the students’ knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights requiring the students to defend their positions, apply core concepts to real situations, formulate reasoned judgments and sometimes even rethink their positions.