BOLTON - Bolton Central students gained first-hand experience in politics and government by participating recently in the YMCA State Youth and Government Conference in Albany.
In this two-day conference, 29 teenagers from Bolton Central debated bills and court cases alongside more than 600 New York middle and high school students from across the state.
Bolton Central School students Margaret Dagles, Tyler Ganter, and Donnie Sammis presented a resolution on same-sex marriage, which passed in the mock Senate by a two-thirds standing vote. Matt Petersen, Harry Caldwell, Domenick Pfau and Eric Fisher presented a resolution for women to be included in the Selective Service draft, which did not pass in the Senate.
Liz Parker, Alana Petersen, Matt Smith, and Emma Cady presented a bill to raise the bottle deposit by 10-cents, which passed in the Assembly with a voice vote. Charlotte Caldwell, Taylor Barrack, Grace Cady, and Tyler Calzada proposed a bill to eliminate plastic bags in stores, which passed in the Assembly with an overwhelming voice vote. Casey Russ, Taylor Cronquist, and Evan Malone proposed a bill to lower the drinking age to 18; this bill did not pass in the Assembly. Ben Gaddy and Sam Gabriels were the judicial team representing the respondent in the case.
Bolton students Mike Andersen, Sean Donohue, Marisa Parrotta, and Josh Seamans presented a resolution to reduce the United States' reliance on coal. Sierra Detrick, Julianne O'Donnell, and Marie DeLorenzo presented a resolution to raise the price of cigarettes by $10 a pack. Shawn Thomson was Bolton's lobbyist who spoke in the Senate and Assembly. Jacqueline O'Donnell worked with the press corps and helped to write articles for a publication of the conference.
People who observed the students in action expressed their pleasure to see youth so involved in issues of public policy.