On Dec. 9, Laramie High School’s We the People team competed at the regional competition and qualified for state.

The regional competition was held at Casper College in Casper, Wy. In total, 19 different schools attended the competition. Out of those teams, only 6 qualified for the state completion, which will be held on Jan. 13 in the newly remodeled state capitol building in Cheyenne, Wy. 

The teams who qualified, in addition to Laramie, include Cheyene East, Green River, Jackson, Kelly Walsh and Sheridan. The winner of the state competition will go on to compete at the national We the People competition held in Washington D. C.

“Our team did awesome, they showed up and showed all their brilliance to the judges and I am pretty sure my students knew more than some of the judges so that’s always good,” LHS social studies teacher Meaghan Todd said.

Students at LHS participate in the We the People program through the AP United States government and politics class, which is taught by Todd. The program satisfies the part of the AP Curriculum which requires students to participate in a civic engagement project.

“We the People is a mock congressional hearing in which students testify in front of a panel of judges about government related questions and defend their position on government related questions,” Todd said.

There are six main overarching units which students answer questions on: Unit One: What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System? Unit Two: How Did the Framers Create the Constitution? Unit Three: How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence? Unit Four: How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices? Unit Five: What Rights Does the Bill of Rights Protect? Unit Six: What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century?

Unlike previous years, Todd let students choose whether they wanted to be on the competitive side or noncompetitive side of the We the People Program. 

The students who were in the non-competitive group still participated in a hearing, however instead of it being an official competition, it was one held by Todd. The hearing took place last week in Todds’s classroom with different judges from around the school and community. In addition, she also had a practice round for students going to Casper before their real competition.

“My favorite part about it is anytime you can get kids to have an opinion and defend it in front of adults and realize that they can have a voice in this lovely democratic republic that we have built, I think that’s amazing,” Todd said.

While we the People is an exciting opportunity for students to compete in and show their knowledge about government and politics. The main goal of Todd’s class is to prepare her students for the AP test which students will take later this school year in May.