Reno High School’s “We the People” civics competition team placed 12th in this year’s national competition, continuing the tradition of Washoe County schools ranking highly in the national annual event.
The 27-student team, led by instructor Richard Clark, competed virtually from the University of Nevada, Reno in the event which took place April 22-25. The team will travel to Washington, D.C. later this month to participate in more “We the People” activities.
“This class is the best of what civics education should be,” said Clark, who teaches social studies at Reno High School and coaches the We the People team. “Our students engage in deep discussions on the issues facing us today while learning the historical philosophical underpinnings of those issues. Students do not necessarily walk away as experts, but as critical thinkers with the ability to look at an issue with a broader lens.”
The We the People competition attracts dozens of school teams from across the nation to testify before panels of judges, presenting and debating questions surrounding the U.S. Constitution. The event is an exhibition of “civic knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to effectively participate in the United States’ constitutional democratic republic through simulated Congressional hearings,” school district officials said.
Questions students in this year’s competition debated included:
- “How has the Constitution been changed to further the ideals contained in the Declaration of Independence?”
- “What rights does the Bill of Rights protect?”
- “How have the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shaped American institutions and practices?”
Team instructor Clark said this year’s team overcame obstacles to achieve their high ranking.
“I am so proud of this group of 27 students,” said Clark. “Their high school careers have been marked with chaos and they have overcome those hurdles. They are inspiring to watch and be around. Our Republic is safe in their hands.”
In 2021, Reno High School’s team placed 3rd in the nation and Incline Village High School’s team placed 8th. Reed High School has also had a team place at the national level.
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