Oberlin High School students were lunch guests at the annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area on Friday, April 13 at Kendal at Oberlin.
Government teacher Rebecca Lahetta took 22 of her sophomores to hear the keynote speaker, Mary Lavigne-Butler, lawyer and development manager of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio.
Levigne-Butler spoke first on the philosophy and general activities of the ACLU. She then described the ACLU’s involvement in Cleveland’s police practices and in women’s reproductive rights.
After returning to the high school, Lahetta said the class discussed why advocacy groups are important. Students discussed how sometimes people cannot afford to go to court, especially for multiple appeals. When someone’s rights are violated it is important that there are places and groups that can give support for people who otherwise cannot afford it.
They also discussed how important it is for police departments to have public review boards and that police departments should be evaluated periodically.
Lahetta said preparatory studies for the talk included the general roles of the government branches with checks and balances, suffrage movements, and the Bill of Rights.
“We had recently begun (to look at) the judicial branch and have been looking at Supreme Court cases that protect people’s rights, especially rights stated in the Bill of Rights. We have gone over the entire 27 amendments,” she said.
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Photos by Eleanor Helper | Kendal Publicity Plugs Ellen Mavrich, president of the League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area, speaks to an audience including Oberlin High School sophomores.