Fishers High School wants national championship in constitution competition


FISHERS, Ind. (WTHR) – Fishers High School is already the state champion in a civics program called We the People. Now the team of students, who care deeply about the United States Constitution and the country, prepare to compete for a national championship in Washington, D.C. April 27 – May 1.

Four team members delivered a practice presentation for WTHR in a classroom after school recently.

"Citizens should demand the leaders of both political parties hold their members accountable,” said one boy reading a four-minute group prepared paper.

The students testify before a panel of judges on constitutional issues and government policies, answering questions after an opening statement.

"We are sitting here and educating ourselves beforehand on these issues,” a girl replies to the panel.

"I love the fact that I'm learning more about the government and becoming a better citizen,” said Fishers Senior Gillian McCann. “I'm 18 now and I'm excited to vote. I'm excited to have a say in the government and who's going to represent my opinions."

The students embrace civic responsibility, undeterred by current divisive partisanship in Congress.

"Our country was founded on sort of these differences and differing opinions,” said Fishers senior David Ho. “That's ok. It's when we have a sincere political dialogue, whether it be between two people, whether it be between one person and a group, but exposing yourself to new ideas is a big thing of what We the People does."

Trophies line the window sills of the classroom, showing Fishers High School’s success in the program, winning three state titles in the last five years.

"They literally love studying it,” said Liz Paternoster, We the People team coach at Fishers High School. “This will be our chance to bring a national championship home to Indiana for the very first time and I feel like this group can do it."

"We need to look to Congress and our representatives to not have any cowardice,” testifies another girl to the panel.

Some of these students might go back to the nation’s capital in office one day.

"I'm going to learn all I can, take in as much knowledge about policy and legislation as I can and really go head first into the political climate and try to make a change,” said Fishers senior Kathryn Cooper, who is considering a career in law.

Fishers Junior High School 8th graders won the We The People national championship last year. The school repeated as state champions and will compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C. May 4-8.

The Fishers High School We the People team has a Go Fund Me page, hoping to raise $30,000. The team is also organizing several fundraisers to reach the total of $54,000 needed for the entire team to go to D.C.

If you would like to support fundraising for the 8th grade team, click here.

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