We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

John W. Eyster: Discovering Democracy Fair coming up

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By John W. Eyster
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Meaningful opportunity to share conversation with Milton High School seniors who participated on the 8th annual Discovering Democracy field study in Washington, DC as they present their portfolios and research papers from 7-9 p.m. this Thursday (5/25) in the Library at Milton High School! I value this experience very highly because citizens are invited and urged to talk with these students about the significant public policy issue which each student has researched both for a research paper and on field study in Washington, DC with interviews appropriate to each issue. Be prepared for dialog! Healthy civil dialog!

This is the eighth annual Discovering Democracy Fair. I will be there. Each year, I gain additional knowledge and special perspective on significant public policy issues talking with the Discovering Democracy students who are Milton HS seniors ready to graduate that I make it a priority to go to talk with these students. I urge you to visit the fair which is open to the public and free. We all need to live and learn… just do it!

Again this year, I had the benefit of being in Washington, DC at the same time as Discovering Democracy VIII was on field study in April. I was very proud to be seen with this group of MILTON HS SENIORS looking like college seniors more than high school seniors dressed in business attire and ready for meaningful academic field research.

I would remind you of the assertion by Thomas Jefferson re. An “enlightened” or educated citizenry as requisite for a healthy democracy, "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."

I believe Discovering Democracy at Milton High School is a very good example of highest quality and most meaningful democracy/civics education afforded to our young adults in any high school or college.

Among the significant Public Policy Issues (SPPIs) researched by Discovering Democracy VIII students included were: “U.S. and I.S.I.S,” “”Climate Change,” “Exploration of Mars,” “U.S. and North Korea,” “U.S. and Russia,” “Federal Minimum Wage.” You will readily identify that some of the students really had a BINGO with the issue they chose in September, 2016!

The Discovering Democracy research fair offers us the opportunity to not only learn more about the FIELD STUDY in Washington, DC, but more importantly, I think, the analysis and stance these students have to share about the significant public policy each student researched. I urge you to make time to go to the Research Fair to LEARN and to be better prepared to advocate for healthy public policies in our republics (USA & WI).

DISCOVERING DEMOCRACY needs financial support. I HOPE you will contact Mr. Val Crofts, founder/director of Discovering Democracy if you want to find out about supporting Discovering Democracy. Call Mr. Val Crofts, Milton HS – 608-868-9200. Or, email: croftsv@milton.k12.wi.us. YOU can make a valuable INVESTMENT in democracy/civics education this OUTstanding democracy/civics education programs in our community.

IF you come to the Discovering Democracy VI research fair next Thursday (5/2) between 7 and 9 pm, I hope you will introduce yourself to me. I enjoy meeting persons who read my WE THE PEOPLE columns… ALL readers, whether or not they agree with me. See you there!

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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