Students Participate in Sandwich Student Government Day

Students will meet elected officials, debate controversial issues...

SANDWICH, MA  Sandwich High School/STEM Academy will be hosting Sandwich Student Government Day on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 8-10:30 AM. Student Government Day provides students from the Town of Sandwich with the opportunity to learn first hand about municipal, county, state, and federal government. During this event, students will be allowed to voice their positions on current political issues and hear the perspectives of students with different viewpoints. Participants will discover more about the legislative process and learn directly from Government officials who will educate them on who they are and the office which they hold.

Sandwich Student Government Day is based on three essential questions:

1. Who are the elected and unelected leaders of our municipal, county, and state government offices?
2. What role does the government play in our lives and what impact does it have on our day to day activities?
3. How do you research and discuss political issues in a respectful manner to make decisions regarding contentious national topics?

The event will address all three of these questions and set Sandwich as a trailblazing example in the state for fostering young community leaders and supporting the state’s new curriculum standards regarding civics education. 

Student Government Day will begin with an Introduction and Listening Ceremony in the auditorium. The ceremony will begin promptly at 8 AM for both eighth and ninth grade students. Director, Jacob Swenson, will give the opening remarks and introduce the award-winning show choir Sandwich Soul who will perform the national anthem. Sandwich High School Principal Jim Mulcahy will then welcome students and give a brief introduction. Following him will be various politicians and officials at the local, county, and state level, including: David Sampson , Chairman of the Sandwich Board of Selectmen; Ronald Bergstrum , Chairman of the Barnstable County Commissioners; Joseph C. Ferreira , District One Governor’s Council; Randy Hunt , State Representative for Fifth Barnstable District; and Dylan Fernandes , State Representative for Barnstable, Nantucket, and Dukes District. Students will also watch short videos specifically recorded for this event by State Senator Julian Cyr , Congressman Bill Keating , State Treasurer Deb Goldberg , and State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump , as well as hear written remarks from Sandwich School Committee Chair Sean Rausch and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren .

After the Introduction and Listening Ceremony, eighth grade students will participate in workshops for about an hour to discuss gun control and climate change. Specifically, HR8: Universal Background Checks , HR 1585: Reauthorizartion of the Violence Against Women Act , S.66 - Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 , and H.Res.109: Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal .

Upperclassman at Sandwich High School will have the opportunity to develop their leadership abilities by facilitating these workshops. Student Moderators will run a four corners activity with thought-provoking statements and prompts and conduct a respectful dialogue addressing some of the most hard-hitting questions about gun control and climate change.

At the end of the workshops, students will be dismissed back to the auditorium for the Closing Session to listen to four “Student Government Day Speakers” who will be selected based on a class assignment prior to Student Government Day. These students will speak in favor or against each proposed issue and attempt to sway students one last time before the mock vote.

Following these final remarks, students will vote either in favor or in opposition of the resolutions discussed during the workshops. The votes will be counted in a Town Meeting style format with student moderators serving as tellers and two seniors acting as the clerk and deputy clerk.
Sandwich Community Television is scheduled to film the event along with student photographers and videographers from the high school broadcasting classes.

The program will begin promptly at 8 AM in the Sandwich High School Auditorium.

 


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