Learning About Government

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Thirty-six Westhampton Beach Middle School students recently traveled to Albany to participate in the New York State YMCA Youth and Government Conference. The cohort received three Outstanding Bill distinctions, and two students received individual accolades: seventh grader Isabelle McCarthy, who won best overall delegate, and eighth grader Abigail Halloran, who took home a debating award. This is the first time the middle school has participated in the conference.

Under the direction of adviser Kelly Massaro, the students prepared for the three-day conference by drafting five bills and related arguments. They presented their bills during the conference as part of a simulation of the state’s democratic process. They also acted as senators and assembly members, debating and voting on mock bills.

The students’ bills included reducing New York State’s reliance on fossil fuels, creating a state tax credit for individuals with dependents who take a New York State-approved parenting course, creating a pay-as-you-go garbage management system in the state, mandating consent as part of the curriculum in state schools, and amending Section 35.10.1 of the New York State Penal Law regarding corporal punishment.

Date Added: 12/6/2022