Learning about the Government at SJHS

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on

In history class, students learn about a variety of different governments, societies, and cultures. But, to most students, the most important thing they will learn is how our own United States government functions. Through participating in the democratic process, U.S. citizens can have an effect on the way they and others around them live. Government and law is a class at SJHS that focuses on the way our government works and how we can better utilize and enrich it.

Students in government and law learn about the many functions and aspects of the government.  Then, using the knowledge they have gained about the government, they participate in a peer court that solves problems between SJHS students.  The class is held during first period, and is taught by Mr. David Hansen, who also teaches Utah Studies.  Mr. Hansen said, “Government and law and peer court help our student lawyers learn how to actually interview a client and solve problems, and other students are able to solve their problems without going to the principal.”

Many students believe that government and law is fun, but also difficult. Students have to learn a lot about the way a court works, and what you should act like while in court. Gregg Davis, a ninth grader in the government and law class, said, “It’s difficult because you have to learn about court, and court etiquette.”  Students also learn about communicating with speeches and arguments.

Government and law is an elective class, but because it can be difficult and requires a lot of responsibility, students must submit a special application for the class.  They must have special recommendation based on their citizenship. According to Gregg, students wishing to take the class must be prepared for a lot of hard work.  They must also understand how to form good arguments and opinions. Claire Hatch, an eighth grader in the class, said, “An opinion is like a toothbrush, you can use your parents’, but it’s better to have your own.” Hopefully, through government and law students can develop their own opinions on the way our government works.

Christopher Taylor, SJHS Staff Writer