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AHS descends on Nashville for mock government conference

AHS Model UN poses in front of the Tennessee Capitol

Article written by Mark McDonald, AHS teacher & Model UN sponsor

This past weekend, the Arlington Model UN club participated in the YMCA Youth in Government Tri-Star Conference in Nashville, TN.  Youth in Government is a mock legislative experience where students are able to perform as elected legislators to pass and enact bills for the state of Tennessee, serve as lawyers in the TN Supreme Court where they argue fundamental rights cases, act as lobbyists to support various objectives, work within the press corps to report on the happenings at the conference, or to serve as student leaders in a number of officer positions.   

We had eight students participate in two components over the course of the weekend, four served as representatives in the Blue House Chambers and four served as lawyers in the TN Youth Supreme Court. 

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Students pose for picture at Youth in Government Conference

Blue House Chambers

Amal Ahmed and Shaila Tonche co-authored a bill titled “An Act to Cap Insulin Prices” which sought to address the issue of insulin prices in Tennessee and provide aid to those who struggle to afford this medicine.  They were able to pass their bill in the House and in the Senate, successfully arguing the merits of their bill despite spirited opposition.   

Peyton Farmer and Meiya Rollins co-authored a bill titled “An Act to Pay Off Foster Care Caseworker Student Debt” that focused on the needs of professional caseworkers within the foster care system, how understaffed most agencies are, and an effective measure to attract and retain more social workers.  They were able to successfully secure its passage through the Blue House Chambers, but just ran out of time during the conference to argue it in front of the Senate. 

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Students pose for picture in the Tennessee Supreme Court

TN Youth Supreme Court

Arlington had two lawyer teams that presented cases to the TN Youth Supreme Court during the conference.  Mercer Mitchell and Caroline Godsey, and Abigail Cronau and Madelyn Sanford were the two teams that argued a case on criminal Miranda rights, police questioning of witnesses, coerced confessions, and collecting of evidence for use in trial.  Both teams were outstanding and earned the praise and recognition of their peers.  The experience was enriched by the fact that these teams were able to argue these cases in the TN Supreme Court chambers in Nashville! 

"This was an amazing conference, and I couldn’t be prouder of how our students represented themselves, their families, and our school," McDonald said.

Mark McDonald, AHS teacher & Model UN sponsor