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Orange County Focus

WESTMINSTER : Students Place 1st in Citizenship Contest

June 02, 1993|JON NALICK

A team of seventh- and eighth-grade students from Helen Stacey Intermediate School has won a regional citizenship award for an innovative proposal for punishing taggers.

The team of 30 gifted and talented students won the $400 regional prize as part of the American Youth Citizenship Competition, said Audrey Brown, spokeswoman for the Westminster School District.

Stacey students placed first in the county for proposing that convicted taggers who are repeat offenders be sentenced to house arrest and monitored by their parents. The students also received two free nights at the Disneyland Hotel, Brown said.

Sponsored by the Walt Disney Co. and the Center for Civics Education, the contest challenged 17,000 junior high school students throughout the state to identify, analyze and propose a solution to social problems in their communities. The program is designed to encourage youngsters to become involved in government and public policy, Brown said.

Teacher Geri Ogle said her students found the competition surprisingly challenging. They did not realize "how many obstacles there are to prevent public policy coming into play, such as constitutional rights for offenders, budget constraints and opposition to what you think is a good plan."

The team will compete against nine other schools from throughout the state in the final round of judging which begins today and runs through Friday.

Students will be judged based on their proposal and research and on two rounds of oral presentations given before a panel of educational and public policy experts. Top prize in the state competition is $500, Brown said.

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