Students demonstrate constitutional knowledge at state showcase

COLUMBIANA — Columbiana South Side Middle School students joined more than 150 other Ohio students in Columbus for the Ohio Middle School We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Showcase.

The showcase took place at the Columbus State Community College and the South Side students were the only ones from Columbiana County to participate.

Other students that participated were from Columbus East High School and Gahanna Middle School South of Franklin County, Middleburg Heights Junior High School in Cuyahoga County, Sycamore Junior High School in Hamilton County, and Trotwood-Madison Middle School in Montgomery County.

We the People is a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, that allows students an opportunity to participate in simulated congressional hearings. Students showcase their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles by evaluating, presenting and defending positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. After providing a prepared answer to the competition questions, students answer follow-up questions from judges including college professors, judges, attorneys, and other community leaders.

“These students really become young constitutional scholars. They gain an in-depth understanding of the history and application of the U.S Constitution. It’s remarkable to listen to them engage in discussions and debate the Constitution at such a high level,” Program Coordinator Tim Kalgreen said in a press release.

We the People is administered in Ohio by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and nationally by the Center for Civic Education. OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. It is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. In Ohio, We the People is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information on OCLRE, please visit