MARLIN, Pa. — Matthew Fees from Schuylkill Haven has a difficult task in his classroom at the Schuylkill Technology Center in Marlin — getting his students excited to learn about politics.
"It's hard for some students to care about the Supreme Court, about Congress, but these rights are actually impacting them," said Fees.
Fees is one of 60 teachers selected for the competitive 2022 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers, a week-long session held in Washington D.C. to help instructors teach about the court system in a simpler way.
"It's going to allow me to hear the minority opinion, the majority decision and talk to lawyers who have been working with those cases, so I have a better understanding of a case that was ruled just last year," Fees explained.
The program will allow teachers to study cases like Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. that Newswatch 16 covered last year. The Supreme Court protected the First Amendment rights of a high school cheerleader from Mahanoy City.
"Some of my students are coming from that school district, and that's a school-related free speech case. All of these kids are students for at least another week or four more years, so they are going to have to deal with those repercussions as the school deals with those repercussions," said Fees.
Fees believes educating students studying trade skills about history and politics is beneficial for their careers post-graduation.
"I try to make history class, not about the dates and names, but about 'How do you know that?' 'What's your source for that?' It's all about structuring an argument, so in the future, they can make an argument about 'Why you should pick my company to build a barn' or 'Why you should choose my product,'" Fees said.
He is excited to come back next school year with even more knowledge from our nation's capital.
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