The Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law celebrated its eleventh annual Constitution Day Project this September. Each year, volunteers teach challenging constitutional questions in Colorado high schools to commemorate the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution.
This year’s Constitution Day curriculum covered the right to privacy and offered students the opportunity to discuss same-sex and interracial marriage, the right to contraception, and the recent Dobbs decision. “We hope high school students will think about how the Constitution impacts their lives, often in ways they never realized. This year’s topic is particularly poignant not just for youth but for everyone – how and why should our private lives be subjected to government intervention?” commented the Project’s manager and co-director of Colorado Law's Clinical Programs, Professor Colene Robinson.
This year over thirty student and attorney volunteers signed up to teach. Volunteers worked with more than 400 students in schools across the Front Range. Teachers were excited for students to discuss privacy issues with members of the legal community.
One teacher shared that, after Constitution Day, one of her students and the student’s father “had a conversation about the topic and, [despite coming] from very different perspectives,” they were able to “have a conversation that was based in facts” as a result of the lesson.
Students “really enjoyed the topic and left feeling like they better understood the issue and the stakes of what could happen in the future,” reported another teacher. Volunteers were impressed by how much students already knew about the Constitution and by their thoughtful questions.
The Center has expressed gratitude to this year's volunteers, whose “dedication to bringing the Constitution alive in high school classrooms allows us to have these hard conversations,” added Professor Robinson.
The Byron R. White Center's director, Professor Suzette Malveaux remarked, “This kind of civic education and engagement is critical to our democracy.”
If you are interested in getting involved with next year’s Constitution Day Project, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/H2qTZTSAunUejy5m6.