The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

A glimpse into the sights of Itsukushima Shrine, junior Ryley Agsalda sits on the lookout of Miyajima Island’s torri gates off of the Hiroshima prefecture. Students were able to walk out to the torri gates since the island was at low tide; if it was high tide the gate would appear as if it was floating on top of the ocean.
Life Overseas: AP Research Goes To Japan
Madison Choo, Writer • April 20, 2024
During the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Championship finals of the women’s 100 yard butterfly, Belise Swartwood takes home first place with a time of 56.56 seconds. This was one of four first place titles that Swartwood earned during the championship.
Belise Swartwood Breaks Records
Gianna Brown, Writer • April 10, 2024
Everyday, students face calls into the office for dress code flagged in halls and classrooms alike. Debate between students, teachers and staff has since ensued on the contents of the dress code and whether its fair protocol.
Opinion: Fit Check Cancelled
Jullia Young, Copy Editor • April 10, 2024

We the People


Political and civic capabilities are on full display with The We the People program, a competition where students “testify” in front of an array of judges like politicians do at congressional hearings. The program works with students from upper elementary to high school. Mililani High School participates in these competitions, specifically the students in Advanced Placement (AP) Politics and Government and AP U.S. History classes. The students prepare 4-minute hearings for the board to listen to and assess their understanding of the American government and constitutional concepts. Afterwards, they are asked additional follow-up questions to test the students’ understanding and comprehension of our country’s government and its history. This competition takes place virtually, so students can call in from the classroom or even at home during competitions.

“It gives us the opportunity to dive deep into our government specific topics. My group’s topic was the Bill of Rights and how that relates to other implied rights, like liberative rights,” said senior Keenan Yoshizawa.

MHS AP U.S. History and AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher Jason Duncan uses his knowledge to aid his students in their preparation for the mock hearing competitions by going in-depth into America’s government history. He has been teaching and guiding his students through the We the People competition for five years now. His classes have gotten first place in the Hawaii State Competition three times out of his five years of participation.

“For me, I love to offer these opportunities because it gives students a chance to shine and to show their knowledge and understanding of our government,” said Duncan.

Preparations for this competition started multiple weeks in advance to ensure the students had enough time for all their research. The students spent their class time working together in groups to research different topics while also balancing their normal classwork. Their research was done through reading books, independent articles, trusted online sources such as , and studying court cases to assemble all the information they’d need for the We the People competition.

“Although the We the People competition was challenging, I have a much better understanding of the constitution, so it’s definitely worth it,” said Micah Domingo.

This competition gives the students a chance to present what they have learned and studied in their AP Government and Politics and AP U.S. History classes. This competition of research, history, and intellect allows students to explain their academic knowledge of America’s government to a board of experienced judges. It also helps develop leadership skills and a sense of empowerment for the students.

“I know it’s not like practical knowledge, you know, but as future citizens and as future leaders, which all these kids are, it really equips them with a level of knowledge and understanding,” said Duncan.

The We the People competition is an opportunity for students to learn about their government and its amendments. By participating in the program and learning research strategies and gaining experience comprehending politics and the way our government works. All of the research and studying led the students to competition day, which was held virtually with the students either at home or in the classroom. There were 6 questions and 6 categories to possible win, when all the questions were answered they huddled around the computer waiting for the winners to be announced as it poured and thunder roared across the sky.

“Originally, we were tied with the other school 3 to 3, and then something must have tipped us over because we won the entire [State Competition]! When we won, that feeling of instant gratification that you feel from winning is amazing,” said Micah.

With such knowledge of our government, students will be well prepared for America and their right to vote. From the vast amount of problems rising in our country, knowing more about our constitution will create more educated voters. For more information, visit or talk to Mr. Duncan in 0103.

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