Students participate in Law Day activities

The essay finalists pose for a photo in the Assembly chamber during their visit to Madison. /Submitted photo

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Randall), representing the Kenosha County legislative delegation, participated in the annual Kenosha County Law Day at the State Capitol. The event is held each year to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about law enforcement, and local and state government.

Sponsored by the Kenosha County Council of the American Legion and organized by Deputy Ray Rowe of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Dennis Walsh of the Kenosha Police Department, Commander Dennis Hackeloer of the Kenosha County Council of the American Legion, and local school teachers, the event kicked off at the Kenosha County Administrative building on Monday, May 3. During that time, participating students were given the opportunity to witness the proceedings of an actual court case, tour the 911 center, and meet local government officials. The event also included a canine demonstration and a crime scene investigation demonstration. The American Legion Post 21 provided a lunch to the students.

Each year, Kenosha County Law Day includes an essay writing competition in which students write about a featured topic. The topic chosen for this year was “If I Could Change a Law,” and the finalists of the competition were rewarded with a trip to the State Capitol. During their Capitol visit, the finalists were given a private tour by Rep. Kerkman, who also provided a more in-depth discussion about how state government works and posed for pictures with the group. Rep. Kerkman then joined the group for a lunch sponsored by Pete Wasilevich, owner of the Kenosha area Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

The winner of this year’s competition is John F. Holeman. In his winning essay, Holeman wrote, “The law I would like to change is the tolerance of disrespect and desecration of our flag under the First Amendment. Additionally, I want to introduce the consideration of a penalty which is punishable under treasonous acts against our country.”

The history of Law Day dates back to the Boston Massacre trials of 1770, when John Adams defended a British officer and soldiers charged with shooting into a crowd of protestors and killing five of them. His role in the trials serves as a lawyerly exemplar of adherence to both the rule of law and the defense of the rights of those accused. Recognizing Law Day encompasses a renewal of the understanding of and appreciation for the fundamental principle of the rule of law.

Rep. Kerkman would like to thank Deputy Rowe, Officer Walsh, and the Kenosha County Council of the American Legion for their efforts in making Kenosha County Law Day 2011 a success.


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