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Senator Johnson Visits Bristol School 12/01/2012

Posted by DS in activities, speakers.
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Senator Johnson at Bristol School, November 30th 2012. Photos: Herb Watson

Newly elected senator Christopher Johnson accepted an invitation from the Bristol Area Lions Club to speak to both the Bristol and South Bristol 5th grade students on the subject of the U.S. Constitution this past Friday, Nov. 30.

The original impetus for this visit came from Lions Club District 41 Governor Leo Gould, as he arranged for all of the students to receive their own copy of the Constitution in booklet form. The visit was coordinated by Bristol Area Lion David Kolodin, the Chairman of the Bristol School Board and a former principal of the school.  Senator Johnson’s talk included some early history leading up to the formulation of the Constitution, as well as the logic of the document leading to our unique and balanced democratic form of government.

Sen. Johnson’s presentation also included the amendments to the Constitution, of which there are 27. In that part of his talk, some of the Amendments were spelled out to clarify for the students the distinct purpose as well as the process of amending the Constitution.

Up to World War 1, for example, women did not have the right to vote until the XIX Amendment allowing women to vote was ratified in 1920. Amendments XIII, XIV, XV prohibited slavery, allowed due process and equal protection for all people, and gave legal rights to all citizens.

The students also participated in the Q&A part of the program centered around the First Amendments freedoms of religion, speech, the press, the right of assembly and to petition the government.

The finale of Sen. Johnson’s presentation focused on the 1965 Tinker v. Des Moines Iowa Independent Community School wherein 13 year old Mary Beth Tinker wore a black arm band to school protesting the Vietnam War.

To find out how the Supreme Court decided this First Amendment case, seek out and ask a 5th grader from either Bristol or South Bristol School!

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