COLUMBUS – Students taking AP Government at Butler High School were in for quite a treat on Wednesday January 27. One hundred eligible students hopped on a bus and made their way to Columbus to visit the Ohio Statehouse.
Once everyone had passed through security, they were led to the House of Representatives where they met their very own representative, Mike Henne. Representative Henne had quite the handful with 100 young adults but he calmly had the students sit at the representatives’ desks and explained the legislative process.
Shortly after, the giant electronic boards flickered and “Bill 485” was now open for discussion by your very own Butler scholars. The topic was whether or not the drinking age should be lowered to 18.
Representative Henne started the discussion claiming, “If men are old enough at 18 to serve their country and make the biggest sacrifice, then they should be allowed to consume alcohol.”
Students Sam Penewit, Jordan Green, Brooklyn Warren, Shivam Patel, Matthew Berry, Claire Long, and teacher Mrs. Baker all shared their opinions on the topic with the permission of the House Speaker, Sean Luttrell. After the debate came to a close, the students voted on the bill. Surprisingly, the room of 17 and 18-year-old students voted the bill down, with a tally of 44 for and 55 against.
After the mock session, Mr. Henne explained his daily responsibilities which consist mainly of voting on legislation and campaigning for his next election. After that, he had to depart to prepare for an actual House session.
The students were then taken out on a tour of the Ohio Statehouse from the Senate floor to the newest addition to the Statehouse, the atrium.
When Ryan Townsend was asked how he thought the trip was beneficial, he stated, “The mock trial gave me a clear picture of how the House in Ohio works and operates. It was pretty cool to experience it in person, and to see the history of the Statehouse.”
The day was full of newly gained knowledge and many new memories that these students will be able to look back on for the rest of their lives.