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Beach students write own Constitution

October 17, 2012
By BOB PETCHER, , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

America's founding fathers would be proud.

Third graders at Beach Elementary School have taken an important page from history and have created their own Constitution that relates to their school surroundings.

With a preamble that begins either by "We the students of third grade," or "We the students of the United Classroom," Mrs. Brindise's class is utilizing a hands-on approach to studying Social Studies with their writing of a school Constitution.

Article Photos

Third grade students at Beach Elementary School proudly hold their class Constitutions in front of the display booth where they can be seen on campus.

Students were asked why the original Constitution was written.

"We want people to be safe and not get hurt," said Alex Lin.

"So there won't be any riots, there wouldn't be that many wars and people could have a good life," said Dylan Monroe.

Students were then asked why it would be a good idea to write a class Constitution.

"To put all the rules in order so everyone follows all the rules and there is no violence in the classroom," said Bobbi Leonard.

"So we stay safe from getting hurt," said Katie Florell.

Some students offered what they wrote on their own Constitution.

"I put to be civil and to know between good and wrong," said Sebastian Cain, a new student from Las Vegas.

"I put down that you should always listen to your teacher and never talk when the teacher is talking so that we can learn," said Alison Williams.

"I put down on my Constitution that we should all care for each other and no bullying," said Laura Atwood.

"To help the lower grades like the kindergarteners, first graders and second graders follow the rules," Katelyn Cherry said.

"I wrote down if you're quiet, the teacher can teach you better and make you smarter," said Bo Dwyer.

"You should give hugs," Colton Converse said. "The Constitution is about our rights and responsibilities."

The students have learned about the branches of government, whereas the principal would be the executive person in charge at the Beach school or the superintendent at the Lee County School System.

Mrs. Brindise is excited about the new Social Studies book that grades 3-5 are using at the Beach school this year.

"They actually call it a student portfolio because there is a lot of their own input in it," she said. "I think they are going to get a lot more out of it."

A new emphasis has been placed on Social Studies at the elementary school level. Seventh graders need to pass the Civics test to move on to eighth grade.

So far, the students at the third grade level at Beach Elementary are catching on.

"All you have to do is learn about the executive branch, the judicial branch and the legislative branch," said one student.

"And there is also the levels of government that is the Federal government, the state government and the local government," said another.

Three students read their Constitutions out loud in front of the class. Here is what Bobbi Leonard, Katie Florell and Laura Atwood wrote in their respective Constitutions.

"We the students of the United Classroom must obey the rules and the responsibilities of a great, great classroom, so we set a great example to children in the lower grades. We shall not run in the classroom, nor shall we disobey the rules like pushing, shoving or any violence. Also, we should not talk when the teacher is talking. So, when our time is up, the children in the lower grades shall move up and also obey the rules and responsibilities of the third grade classroom." -- Bobbi

"We the students of third grade help the younger students to follow the rules like no running in the classroom and running until you get down to the grass. Our principal, Mr. Wood, helps the students and teachers obey the rules. We have fire drills so we know what to do if there is ever a fire. We have hurricane drills too, so we can stay safe from hurricanes. Our teacher, Mrs. Brindise, helps us if we need help." -- Katie

"We the kids of the United Classroom vow to follow the school rules to keep learning and keep the school in order. The principal will be the administrator and have power over everyone. He will lead the school into pride. The teachers will teach the students to make sure they get education. Everyone has the right to make sure they make their goals. Principals can make their goals by having the power to make sure things are in order. Teachers meet their goals by having what they need to teach. Students reach their goals by having teachers that can teach them. There should be no bullying, only caring. Everyone should help each other. Principals, teachers and students should cooperate so that students can get the best education possible." --Laura



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