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Bristol Students Learn About the Constitution 12/03/2013

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Senator Chris Johnson talking to 5th grade students, Bristol School.

Senator Chris Johnson talking to 5th grade students, Bristol School.

Bristol Consolidated School fifth-graders learned about the U.S. Constitution with help from Sen. Chris Johnson during Liberty Day Dec. 9.

The senator talked to the students about the Revolutionary War and the making of the Constitution, the branches of government and the Bill of Rights.

Johnson challenged the students to study the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the Constitution – and learn what right or rights each amendment grants to U.S. citizens.

Senator Johnson seeking answers.

Senator Johnson seeking answers.

He also talked about how legislators try to apply the values of the Constitution to modern issues like cellphone privacy.

The Constitution protects citizens against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” but at 225 years old, it does not specifically address whether the government can use a cellphone to track a citizen’s movements or read his text messages.

“I know that just because technology has changed, that doesn’t give someone the right to invade my privacy without a reason,” Johnson said.

Dave Kolodin at Bristol School.

Dave Kolodin at Bristol School.

Johnson encouraged the students to participate in government. Students can contact their legislators, participate in the Maine Legislature’s honorary page program or even testify about a bill at a private hearing.

“You have a role, as someone who may end up being elected and going on to write laws, like 1 was,” Johnson i said. “I didn’t imagine that when I was in high school. I didn’t imagine that when I was in grade school, that 1was going to be helping to create laws.”

“You may be someday too, but even if you’re not doing that, it’s important that you take an idea, if you think something should change, and talk to a legislator,” he said.

Lion Dave Kolodin putting his teaching skills to work.

Lion Dave Kolodin putting his teaching skills to work.

The Bristol Area Lions Club I sponsored the second annual Liberty Day event. Lion David Kolodin distributed pocket-size copies of the Constitution to the class. Kolodin is the chairman of the Bristol School Committee.

Johnson represents District 20, which includes all of Lincoln County except Dresden, the Kennebec County town of Windsor and the Knox County towns of Friendship and Washington.

(Article by J.W Oliver, Lincoln County News, December 12th 2013)

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