Press Release: News Release May 2002: Grantsburg Middle School to compete in civics competition:

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    News Release May 2002: Grantsburg Middle School to compete in civics competition

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: org cpowers wisbar Christi Powers
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (608) 250-6025
    (608) 692-2206 (mobile)

    Grantsburg Middle School to compete in civics competition

    MADISON, May 31, 2002 - Four teams of students from Grantsburg Middle School will compete in the "We the People...Project Citizen" statewide competition this weekend. The students spent a semester studying a public policy issue and developed an implementation plan under the direction of their teacher Grachia Solie. The teams will be judged on their creative efforts in researching and devising solutions to the following issues:

    • School Bus Behavior After conducting several surveys, this group identified overcrowding, vulgar language and a general disrespect for the drivers as the main reasons for poor student conduct. The team agreed that an assigned seating plan and the use of video cameras would greatly help to increase vehicle safety and reduce harassment on area school buses.
    • School-based Harassment This nationwide problem affects student in many different ways. Depression, low self-esteem and a lack of concentration are the most common results of these repeated attacks. After reviewing several alternatives, the students decided that educational programs, like teen court, are the best way to deter this unwanted behavior.
    • Locker Theft Although school theft is not a significant problem in their community, this group of students fear that if it is not dealt with promptly it could develop into more serious offenses down the road. As a result, they recommend using fundraisers, not the school's budget, to fund additional on-site security cameras.
    • Teen Smoking According to recent surveys, 30 percent of seventh and eighth grade students either smoke on a regular basis, or have tried the unhealthy habit at least once. Based on that data, this team of students determined that more effective anti-smoking campaigns, additional cigarette taxes and mandatory ID checks were the best possible solutions for this problem.

    Project Citizen is a civic education program for middle school students to promote competent and responsible participation in state and local government. The students' final product is a large portfolio displaying their work.

    "The caliber of this year's entries clearly demonstrates that the students successfully worked together to find innovative solutions to societal problems," said retired teacher Jack Jarmes, state coordinator for Project Citizen." "I can't think of a better way to teach kids about the inner workings of state and local government."

    The competition, to be held at State Bar Center in Madison on June 1, is sponsored by the Wisconsin Law Foundation, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Center for Civic Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Department of Education. A panel of 16 judges - including attorneys, legislative staff, government leaders and retired teachers - will score the entries based on completeness, clarity, and graphics. The winner of the state competition will compete in the national tournament in Denver in July.

    For more information on other State Bar law-related education efforts, visit, or contact Dee Runaas at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out initiatives to educate the public about the legal system.