CHS civics project-turned-house bill passes Senate committee
By: JORDAN GRUCZA
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Senate Bill 533, which began as an action plan in a civics class at Carlinville High School, just passed the Senate committee last Thursday. The bill was filed and first read in January and consists of a proposal to put an end to the practice of moving clocks back one hour every March for daylight savings time in the state of Illinois, citing detriments to health and productivity as well as other factors. Illinois Senator Andy Manar became Chief Sponsor of the bill on May 1.
The authors of the civics project, which is a requirement for graduation in the state of Illinois, are Travis Osborn, Tucker Green, Tristen Burns, Tyler Behme, and Andrew DeNeve. Civics teacher Logan Ridenour stated that the action plan is a semester-long group project which begins with an initial introduction with check-ins by him along the way.
“They have five to six days to take 35 minutes to work on it in class at which point I’ll poke and prod, facilitate some thought and push them in certain directions, said Ridenour. “Once they have a proposal, I help them go about figuring out how to get it done, in terms of who do they need to talk to. For example, if this is something in Carlinville, it’s a matter of figuring out if this is a school board issue, or maybe a city council issue. It’s a matter of getting them to figure out how to navigate this process. But really the direction of the project is on them for the most part.
The students met face-to-face with Senator Andy Manar to present their case.
“After their presentation, during which I peppered them with numerous questions, I committed to them that I would introduce legislation in the Illinois Senate to make daylight saving time the standard, year-round time in Illinois,” Manar said. “I was impressed with the very strong case they presented.”
This was the first Ridenour had seen a civics action plan taken to this level of government. He stated it is “sometimes problematic” to get students to think outside the bubble of Macoupin County, but had the opposite issue with these five students.
“To be fully honest, when they approached me, when the students first started writing their proposal, they didn’t really know what they wanted to do,” said Ridenour. “The way this project is structured, we usually stay on a local aspect. When they settled on this, there was some apprehension on my part, but I said, if you want to try to take this on, go for it.”
Carlinville students, from left to right, Travis Osborn, Tucker Green, Tristen Burns, Tyler Behme, and Andrew DeNeve with State Senator Andy Manar. What began as a civics project has now become a bill which just passed Senate committee on May 23.