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Lee County attorneys introduce students to the U.S. Constitution

September 25, 2019
By MELISSA BILL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Last Monday, a group of Lee County attorneys shared with students the importance of the United States Constitution during its celebratory week.

A group of selected attorneys and judges from the Lee County Bar Association showcased one of America's most important documents, and gave students in elementary and middle schools throughout Lee County a better understanding of the democratic process.

The Lee County Bar Association's annual Constitution Week coincides with Constitution Week, an American observance to commemorate the signing and adoption of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Article Photos

Throughout the week presenters discussed citizen rights, provided a deeper perspective of why the Constitution should matters to students and fostered a time for open dialogue.

PHOTO PROVIDED

Throughout the week presenters discussed citizen rights, provided a deeper perspective of why the Constitution should matters to students and fostered a time for open dialogue.

Andrew Banyai was one of more than 10 attorneys who took the time to share the importance of the U.S. Constitution. Banyai spoke at Allen Park Elementary and then Lehigh Acres Middle in front of a crowd of 400 students on Sept. 16.

"We have a really beautiful system that is very unique and original. In fact it has been copied by other parts of the world because of how unique and special it is. I thought that the students should find out more about our system and why it is so special," Banyai said.

According to Banyai, the kids were filled with both interest and questions.

"I started each discussion with students by holding up the battered little copy of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution I've been carrying around with me in my pocket for the last 20 years. That's what drives me to do what I do: a passion for the brilliance of the framework set up by the Founding Fathers and a respect for what it takes to make their vision thrive," Banyai explained.

Banyai also explained to students the difference between our current system and those overseen by a king and queen.

"We touched upon an era of time, prior to the American Revolution, where British troops could just enter your house and use your stuff and there was nothing you could do about it," Banyai said. "I put it in a way they could understand such as they could eat your food, use your game station, sleep in your bed and you had to allow them."

Banyai also addressed how the United States' Democratic Republic works and the basis of a self- governing system.

"We get to express our political ideas without having to worry about being jailed for it. Within our framework of self-government, people are allowed freedom of religion. Prior to the revolution, in Britain everyone had to pretend that they were the same religion as the king or queen or they would be punished for it. The kids were very interested in the King George era and what he did that made the now Americans revolt," Banyai said.

Students were also interested in learning more about a Democratic Republic system.

"Our system is unique because we are able to choose our own representatives. We don't actually vote on most of the laws ourselves; instead, we pick people to represent us and that is their job for the duration of their term," Banyai said.

Other Lee County schools that participated in the week-long series of talks included Lexington Middle, Challenger Middle, Oak Hammock Middle, St. Michaels.

Andrew Banyai is the executive director of the Lee County Legal Aid Society, which provides free legal services to those who otherwise could not afford it. It's a position and cause he takes very seriously.

"The Lee County Legal Aid Society ensures that courts and judges are able to hear the voices of those who may not have the knowledge or resources to understand the complex legal system," Banyai said.

Recently Lee County Commissioners presented him with the prestigious Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award.

The accolade goes each year to a Lee County citizen who has provided outstanding civic contributions to Lee County government.

For more information Lee County Legal Aid visit, www.Leecountylegalaid.org

 
 

 

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