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Learning about the constitution

By Staff | Sep 23, 2019

Attorney Kenny Kemp teaches students at Challenger Middle about the U.S. Constitution on Wednesday. The Lee County Bar Association showcased the document in elementary and middle schools throughout Lee County. CHUCK BALLARO

One thing middle schoolers (or anyone for that matter) must learn about is the United States Constitution.

This past week, attorneys and judges from the Lee County Bar Association showcased America’s most important document in elementary and middle schools throughout Lee County.

The presenters discussed citizen rights, provided a deeper perspective of why the Constitution matters to students personally and started discussion on it among youngsters for what is “Constitution Week” which coincides with “Constitution Day” on Sept. 17, which commemorates the document’s signing in 1787.

In Cape Coral, it was Challenger Middle School that had two members give a lesson on how important this document is.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Kimberly Bocelli met with students, while attorney Kenny Kemp, who has practiced for 18 years, specializing in wills and estates, taught the students in Brandy Redding’s class Wednesday, with his lesson focused on the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments.

Kemp explained the freedom of speech, right to bear arms, and the rights given to those accused of a crime.

Kemp talked about unreasonable search and seizures, the right to remain silent, self-incrimination, due process, double jeopardy and much more, while students asked about specifics in the constitution while also wanting to know more about Kemp’s job and what made him want to be a lawyer (he said watching episodes of Matlock).

Kemp said he has always had a fascination with the constitution and has learned that most kids have an idea of what it is.

“They have a general understanding of what it is and when we get into specifics, they do have an understanding of it,” Kemp said. “I love the law and I love to give back. There are those who don’t know about it, so it’s always good to talk to little people and ingrain it in their minds.”

Redding said the school did it last year and the Lee County Bar Association sought to return there this year.

“It’s nice for the kids to hear about somebody else in addition to what they learn in the textbooks and online, to hear a different point of view and to ask questions by someone who is in the game,” Redding said.

As for the students, they learned an awful lot about what it means to have the rights they have.

“I learned a lot about the constitution and how it works. I learned about the amendments and the basic rights people have and court cases,” said Olivia Trader.