Cathedral students take part in state Youth Legislature

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

While the political world seemed to be tumbling around them, three Cathedral High School students were making their own contribution to government. Ninth-graders Christine Burns, Sue Ann Bernard and Kate Reid attended the Mississippi Youth Legislature conference in Jackson Nov. 15-18, just as the election drama was heating up.

The three authored a senate bill calling for foreign language classes in public elementary schools, which was not only passed by their fellow delegates, but named Outstanding Senate Bill for the conference.

Burns said she and her co-authors got the idea for the bill from looking through books from a Junior Youth Legislature they attended in the spring as junior high students.

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Reid said the team argued that younger children absorb foreign languages more quickly and retain what they learn longer than high school students. &uot;Also, there are so many cultures in the United States that (learning a second language) makes it easier to communicate,&uot; Burns said.

All three agreed their past experience with Youth Legislature helped them to enjoy and benefit from this year’s conference.

&uot;I had no idea what government was about, and I learned about that last year,&uot; Burns said.

&uot;And all this presidential stuff going on now, you understand what it all means,&uot; Reid added.

As for the effect the 2000 presidential saga has had on the way they view government, all agreed it has had a negative impact.

Though none has aspirations of political life in the future, all agreed being part of Youth Legislature has benefited them as citizens and encourage others to become involved.

&uot;I’d recommend it to anybody,&uot; Reid said. &uot;Even if you’re not interested in government.&uot;

Reid is the daughter of Mel and Derrell Reid; Burns is the daughter of Andy and Helen Burns and Bernard is daughter to Joanna Bernard.