Pre-AP Civics and Economics Students Hear Justice Scalia Speak

As February closed, students arrived in drones, filling in seats at the Fort Smith Convention Center for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series. Among the crowd of 300-500 students were the Kimmons Pre-AP Civics and Economics classes. Special guests Justice Antonin Scalia answered questions from the crowd who listened carefully. Freshman Ateya Wright had the distinct honor of her question being pre-selected. She intended to ask the federal judge a three-part question: “How do you cope with knowing you have to interpret the Constitution? Is it difficult when scenarios come up and the court is divided? Do you sometimes use your own experiences, morals, judgement to help you make decisions?”

“When my question was picked I felt proud!” Ateya said. “I thought my question wasn’t that good, but it got picked and I was honored.”

A lot of things were going through her mind as Ateya stepped up to the microphone.

“When I asked my question, I thought ‘I wonder what the other students’ questions are?’ and ‘What will his answer be?’” Ateya said.

Aside from feeling honored, Ateya anxious.

“I was really nervous because I got to sit right next to him when we ate,” Ateya said.

Civics teacher Mrs. McKinney was pleased with the overall experience.

“We are so proud of Ateya,” Mrs. McKinney said. “All of our students represented Kimmons well.”

Economics teacher Mrs. Lux appreciated the rare historical moment.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to hear from a sitting Supreme Court Justice,” Mrs. Lux said. “The students benefited from hearing the beliefs of one of the nine people who interpret the laws that affect them and their families.”