Rebecca Burke has a passion for the U.S. Constitution and wants to help young people understand why it is so important.
With others, she is already helping to plan the second Tennessee Star Constitution Bee. The inaugural bee was held Saturday, with sixteen students competing.
Sponsored by the Polk Foundation, the event took place at Sycamore High School in Cheatham County. Students prepared for the bee by studying the The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students.
Organizers intend to hold the next Constitution Bee in Williamson County on Saturday, April 28th.
“We’re still trying to secure a location,” Burke said.
A well-known Middle Tennessee conservative activist and Tennessee Republican Party state executive committeewoman, Burke recently announced she is running for the state House of Representatives District 61 seat. The seat is currently occupied by Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin).
Burke said a good understanding of the Constitution is important today because freedom of speech is under attack and students are growing up to believe they shouldn’t have to be exposed to ideas they find distasteful. Young people need to understand that all sides deserve a fair hearing, whether the ideas are coming from the left, right or middle.
“If you can’t hear all sides, how can you make a decision as to where your personal beliefs and opinions rest?” Burke said.
The role of federalism as outlined in the Constitution is something else people need to appreciate – both young people and adults, said Burke, adding that a better understanding of federalism is critically needed in the current debate over government involvement in health care.
Federalism is not a unique idea among modern-day Republicans, Burke said, but rather one that was endorsed by the Founding Fathers.
“They realized the government that was best was closest to the people.”
Burke said she is “jazzed up” about the next Tennessee Star Constitution Bee.
“I’d like to see this go from county to county,” she said.