On the first weekend of March, seventeen Casady students went downtown to Oklahoma’s Capitol for the Youth and Government State Conference. There, they met with other high school students from around the state who had a passion for American politics, and spent time participating in a model government.
The weekend began with a dinner with other delegates from different schools. Students had the gift of listening and questioning eight of Oklahoma’s legislators from the Democratic and Republican parties. The highlight of the night was the discussion of state questions which called delegates to argue on minimum wage and taxes on feminine hygiene products among other subjects. Two Casady students, Christian Owen (‘20) and Bianca Caves (‘22) had the opportunity to offer their opinions on state questions. The next morning, students headed off to the Capitol. Delegates who were part of the legislative branch presented, listened, and voted on bills in large committees in hopes of eventually having their bills signed by the Youth Governor. Meanwhile, some students posed as lobbyists and continuously tried to persuade “legislators” to vote for certain bills. Students participating in the judicial sector tirelessly took part in four judicial trials. In two of the four, they posed as the plaintiffs and served as the respondents in the other two. Each case called on the “attorneys” to discuss a hypothetical situation in which a student posted a threatening tweet directed toward a staff member of a school. Some students also played witnesses throughout these trials. After the day was over, students joined together for dinner and voted on four state questions and the next Youth Governor.
After two days filled with diligent work, Youth and Government students shared one final meal together and joined together for an awards ceremony. There, they viewed the video that the media branch had worked to create throughout the entire weekend.
Many Casady students were recognized for excelling throughout the conference. Lobbyist Jack Naifeh (‘22) was invited to the Youth Conference on National Affairs. Judicial Attorneys Christian Owen (‘20) and Ford Watkins (‘20) were elected as district judges for the next state conference, and were chosen to attend the National Judicial Competition, as well. Witness Carson Buffalo was awarded as the Outstanding Youth Commissioner. Lastly, Sarah Cate Bass’s (‘22) and my legislative bill, which called for open primaries in Oklahoma, was signed by the Youth Governor. All of Casady’s Youth and Government students did an outstanding job during the 2019 YAG State Conference, and will continue to represent Casady well.