By Elijah Merritt
Delegate Jayden Hansen of the White Rock YMCA (far left) speaking on behalf of his bill that expresses that the “top dog” will be taken out of school through the implementation of K-12 school, which in the delegate’s eyes, will prevent bullying due to older and more mature students being around the younger ones.
In the photo above Delegate Adrian Kingori of the McKinney YMCA (far right) objects.
“I don’t believe high school students will have positive impacts on younger kids,” Adrian said.
He goes on to explain how combining middle and high schools would not eliminate the so-called “top dogs,” but they put 12th graders in an environment where the 8th graders were once at the top. It becomes apparent to not only this delegate but others as well that adding more students on top of an elementary or middle school, wouldn’t benefit taking down the top dog.
To start the day off, Delegate Veronica Singh of the Plano Family YMCA (middle) presented a bill that would affect the productivity of students throughout their school day. Veronica constructed a bill about excessive cell phone usage in schools, and how it, “doesn’t promote learning.”
She explains how the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to cell phone usage in schools, including how cell phones and other technology distracts the students to a point where it delays their learning. One resolution that she has for this issue is that not only the students but teachers should also be punished to a degree when it comes to these instances of technology use. Based off of personal experience, Veronica has seen first hand how technology use can disrupt learning environments, and her passion for the topic is why she has come up with the idea to implement this bill.
Although there were some opponent speakers who did dispute the delegates point of view, it was more positively received than it was negatively received, and it showed due to the majority vote in favor of having her bill advance.
Delegate Brayden Miller (middle), from Liberty High School in Frisco, whose bill pertains to the inclusion of self-defense in P.E. curriculums in schools throughout the state of Texas.
The delegate describes the situations in which youths and children have been harmed, including physical harm such as being raped, and how it happens so often due to so many people not knowing how to properly protect themselves.
Miller believes in students being able to defend themselves affirmatively, through confidence and body language. Although being able to fight back physically has always been an option, this delegate believes that violence is not the only way, and through his research, he has found that a majority of the students who take classes in self-defense were successfully able to defend themselves. Without assistance from anyone else.
One of his points is that these self-defense classes should be integrated into current physical education courses, which would not be taking away from, the students learning, allowing them to maximize their education.
Delegate Sanjana Danau (middle) from Liberty High School presented a bill that stating that women should be charged with child endangerment if they abuse any kinds of alcohol while pregnant.
One of her goals was to try and make sure that no child is born with any diseases due to the mother’s alcohol consumption, which was supported by many of the delegates.
“Any form of alcohol and/or drugs ingested during pregnancy is harmful,” Danau said.
Although there was a debate that consisted of many disagreeances, the bill advanced by four votes.
Students break after a long hour of bill presentations and lively debate.
Delegate Yuval Marom (middle) from Centennial High School believes that high schools need to have finance classes to help students control their finances. The delegate explains how these courses would be mandatory, and a test will be given in order to see how far the students progress over the year.
“This is the year that students are about to leave and go into college and deal with these financial troubles,” Marom said.
The delegate wants to implement this in order to have these soon to be high school graduates prepared, and through this, they will be able to finance properly, rather than mismanaging their money.
Due to running behind schedule, it was brought to the delegates’ attention that they would need to pick things up if they wanted to get through more bills. A delegate had the idea to have question lines rather than individually asking for permission to speak, and that idea was voted majority “I.” This allowed more delegates have the chance to speak up, as long as they held their spot in line, and more feedback is given by more people, rather than the same ones who were quick to stand up and ask for permission.
The 72nd Youth and Government State Conference held District Court and Legislative sessions at the Texas State Capitol.
Located in the Capitol, there is a showcase of different Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the highest US military decoration awarded by Congress to a member of the armed forces, and as seen here, many of the recipients come from Texas.
The United States flag and the Texas flag flew at full mast during the Youth and Government State Conference. Both signify unity both in state and country. The Youth and Government program is to prepare the students for the world of tomorrow, and better educate them about the different types of government systems including Legislation, Judiciary, State Affairs, and Media.