Students attend S.C. Legislative Black Caucus conference
Five students from the Darlington County School District (DCSD) traveled to the state capitol in September to participate in the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus’ ninth annual Youth Leadership Conference.
About 170 students from more than 50 South Carolina schools attended the conference, which gave them an up-close look at house the state legislature operates.
Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology sent four students: Kelvin Polk, Morgan Malloy, Tayler McDaniel and Brendan Graham. Kyra March represented Darlington High School. DCSD Board of Education Chairman Connell Delaine also attended the event.
The students arrived at the Blatt Building, where offices of members of the House of Representatives are located, at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 14. Several legislators attended the welcoming ceremony. The group of students “elected” their own leaders for the positions of speaker of the House and lieutenant governor. Mayo High’s Malloy was elected as the conference’s lieutenant governor.
The students then broke into groups of pre-determined House and Senate members and filed into the respective chambers at the Statehouse. The students learned how to introduce bills and practiced debating actual legislation
Traveling to Columbia and seeing firsthand how laws are created was a rewarding, academic opportunity for students, Delaine said.
“It was a very positive experience. They got a chance to really understand how the Senate and the House work,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience. They enjoyed it.”
After adjourning shortly after noon, the students attended a college fair in the lobby of the Statehouse, which featured representatives from the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Claflin University, Benedict College, Midlands Technical College and College of Charleston. Later, they loaded onto buses headed for a catered lunch at the Brooklyn Baptist Church Banquet and Conference Center.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin delivered a keynote address during the meal, before the conference came to an end.
Delaine said the conference proved a valuable field trip for the DCSD students, and he hoped more consider attending in the future.