On December 13, 2014, the NYC DOE Justice Resource Center hosted over 160 students at the We The People NYC competition at MLK High School. Classes of students from Forest Hills High School, James Madison High School, Harry S. Truman, Midwood High School, Queens Vocational and Technical High School presented arguments and answered judges’ questions during multiple rounds of mock Congressional hearings.
The We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Progrram began in 1987 through the Center for Civic Education and promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students. The Justice Resource Center, in partnership with the Law, Youth, and Citizenship Committee of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), offer NYC high schools the opportunity to participate in the program.
The We the People competition is the yearly culminating event of the NYC program. Teams of students present for four minutes based on the six units in the text. Volunteer attorneys, politicians, and professors serve on the judges panel and ask students questions for the final six minutes of the competition. Each team is scored based on their overall performance.
This year, Forest Hills High School and James Madison High School earned the top two finalist spots. Both teams will be competing in Albany at the NY State competition with an eye towards winning the championship enabling them to advance to the national competition.
Download the competition’s Hearing Questions and see how well you would do in front of a panel of judges.