Thursday, January 15, 2009

From the classroom to the capitol, these kids know their stuff

They come every year, dressed in suits and ties, talking to senators and representatives about new laws -- to fight crime, decrease pollution, save energy or improve schools. But they're not lobbyists or community activists. Most of them can't even vote.

They're government students at Snohomish High School, and every winter, they pile into school buses to make the trip to the state capitol to bring their ideas to lawmakers.

The ideas aren't just a class project. Some become state law.

Rep. Hans Dunshee sponsored Courtney's Law, named after a Snohomish High student killed in a low-speed car crash when an unsecured speaker in the back seat crushed her.

To the left: Rep. Hans Dunshee listens to three Snohomish High students -- Molly Thunder, Alejandro Ponte and Nicole Schindler -- pitch their idea for the Green Lighting Act of 2009, which would require schools to use energy efficient lights. After doing some research, the students said schools and taxpayers could save 25 percent on electricity costs versus traditional lights.