The legislature convenes today, though not for any of the state lawmakers elected or re-elected this week. This mock legislature brings high-school classes together via the Iowa Communications Network, in an exercise that’ll give them some hands-on experience. Jedd Taylor teaches history, government and a “social issues” class at Glenwood High School. He’s chosen some senior government students to act as the “Senate” so in the school’s ICN room they’ll link up via the Iowa Communications Network to write up a statewide school dress code. He says it’s an issue they deal with all the time at school, both what the dress code should be and how they should enforce it, so he’ll be interested to see the kids’ perspective on it. The students won’t be assigned to uphold or oppose the idea, they’ll begin with their own opinions. Their partner will be a class at the school at Toledo, which will act as the “House of Representatives.” A building president, the principal of one of the two schools, will sign or veto the bill, depending on their perspective as a school administrator. The day’s experience for the students will resemble a working day for state lawmakers at the statehouse in Des Moines. They’ll debate each other and the students from the other school, and a couple from each group even will be assigned as lobbyists, charged with trying to persuade the mock congressmen to vote a certain way. As they prepared for their roles, Taylor says the students paid attention to this year’s political campaigns. It’s the second year of this mock legislative exercise, and the teacher says when real lawmakers come to visit the mock sessions, they’re surprised at how accurately the day resembles their work at the state capital. By three this (Friday) afternoon both “houses,” in their own classrooms, will have finalized the bill they created during the day, and one building principal will exercise the power to sign or veto it.
You are here: / / Students meet in mock Legislature