A team from Portland's Lincoln High School has won a national championship in Washington, D.C. in a competition that tests students' knowledge of the Constitution and the law.
Lincoln won the Oregon competition in January and was among fifty teams to compete in D.C. over the weekend.
John Gilbert is a Portland attorney with a daughter on the Lincoln team. He traveled to D.C. to watch the competition and spoke to OPB from an airport on his way back.
He says the Lincoln team impressed the contest panelists, including some court judges.
“They all stated that they wished they had more time to discuss with Lincoln. They referred to it as a ‘conversation’ rather than as a test or a challenge. It really was, it was incredible to see these young people be so eloquent.”
Gilbert says Lincoln’s team is unusual because it’s mostly sophomores – rather than upperclassmen.
The “We the People” competition recently lost federal funding. That meant local school communities had to pick up the cost.
Gilbert says Lincoln students mentioned the loss of that federal funding during the competition, as a defense of certain congressional earmarks.