This is not for the faint of heart: three days of grueling meetings, featuring debate and lawmaking. It's fun, though, seeing students grow over the course of the weekend. My students have proposed the following bills:
- Eliminate voting fraud by requiring state-issued photo IDs in order for people to vote
- Provide funding to provide a heart defibrilator to all marked police cars, which are usually the first-responders to accidents (this was our club's highest-ranked bill this weekend, and I'm proud to say that it passed the House by a 77-8 vote)
- Provide a tax rebate to Tennesseans who buy hybrid vehicles or train/bus passes
- Ban abortions for all teens--even if they have parental consent
- Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana
- Allow the use of cell phones in schools in the case of an emergency
It will be a long weekend, but in view of the long-term benefits of a program like this, it's worth my time, I feel. When I was in academy, I loved statewide and regional events (in my case they were music festivals, where I got to practice my choral skills). I would have totally loved a conference like this one, where research, debate, and critical thinking are honed.