Forty-nine Montgomery Academy seventh and eighth graders participated in the Alabama YMCA Youth in Government's (ALYIG) Junior Youth Legislature program on Friday, January 25. More than three hundred middle school students from as far away as Cherokee County were involved in the full day event, where students learn parliamentary procedure, run for office, write bills, and work to debate and pass their bills in the mock House and Senate chambers. High school officers in the ALYIG program help middle school students run the entire program.
Several MA students ran for office. Holden Habermacher was the Presiding Officer in the House. Kareena Singh was Assistant Floor Leader and Claire Moore was Pro Tempore. The House had fifteen bills selected for its docket; three were from MA students. Those bills were Isabelle Rutland and Isabella Johnson's Garbage Collection Reduction Act, Kingsley Johns and Mae Mae Voltz's CPR Training, and Camille Snead and Lily Hines' Shot Spotter. The Senate had ten bills chosen for its docket; two were from MA students. Those were Leah Simms and Claire Gary's Raise Minimum Wage from $7.25 to $9.00 and Katie Brown, Elizabeth Ray and Kareena Singh's Gas Tax to Improve Infrastructure.
The House and Senate both saw feisty debate; only one bill passed in either chamber. Voltz and Johns' bill to ensure that all school faculty and staff receive biannual CPR and defibrillator training emerged victorious after a lengthy round of debate. In addition to a day of learning and making friends, the students also enjoyed a lunch at the RSA plaza with the high school student officers in the program. Brett Westhauser sat with this year's Chief Justice, Youth Governor and Chief of Staff, where the table discussed favorite superhero movies (differentiating between the Marvel and the DC universes).
MA Upper School students who participated are ALYIG officers Hannah Hale, William Robertson, Caroline Deale, Carter Chandler and District Chair Margaret Chandler. Sophomores Mary Virginia Huffaker and Alisha Singh attended the conference to assist MA seventh and eighth graders with bill writing and debate.
Jai Ivy Raines, Carlyle Chandler, Holden Habermacher, Terry Kim, Claire Moore and Kareena Singh each received Outstanding Statesman awards.