Ethics in Government Forum

Trojan Times Online - Ethics in Government Forum
Posted on 12/09/2019
The Trojan Times - Ethics in Government Forum

By The Trojan Times Student Newspaper Staff
Photographs - The Trojan Times Student Newspaper Staff

Lake Worth High School was visited by Palm Beach County community leaders and government officials to discuss ethics and involvement in government. 

Trojan students were given a rare in-house civics class that was taught by community leaders, elected officials, attorneys, a judge and a school board member. 

“It’s important that our students, our citizens of tomorrow, take a personal interest in how government will affect their lives. They need to listen and understand that they cannot sit on the sidelines. They need to get involved,” said Trojan Principal, Dr. Elvis Epps. 

“I learned that if you want a change in school, School Board members are willing to listen to us,” said Government student Ms. Avila Casas. 

Mr. Chris Cain, who organized the Forum along with Ms. Erica Whitfield, said, “Lake Worth wanted to provide students an opportunity to meet local government officials: Circuit Court Judge, School Board Member, Lawyers, and City Commissioners. We wanted students to get involved and ask questions regarding topics important to them and their future.”

Panel members consisted of Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Omar Hardy; Cindy Guerra, COO, Clerk and Comptroller’s Office; Cindy Crawford, Esq., Partner in the firm Greenspoon Marder Law Group; Victoria Mesa, Esq., President, Hispanic Bar Association; Assistant State Attorney Laura Laurie; Cory Neering, West Palm Beach Commissioner and Class of 1993 Trojan graduate; Dr. Peter Cruise, Ethics Commissioner; Samantha Feur, Circuit Court Judge; and, School Board Member Erica Whitside. 

In today’s political climate many see selfishness as the reason for the motive for politicians seeking office. 

“If you are in it to make money, to see what you can get for yourself, don’t get involved in government. We are elected to serve others, not ourselves,” said West Palm Beach City Commissioner Omar Hardy.
Students were schooled on the various levels of government that were represented by the guests on the panel. Students handed-in questions earlier in the week that members of the panel answered during the event.

Another part of the lesson was answering questions about the Constitution and other queries on civics through the online game Kahoots!.
Contest winners were Jean Joseph, Fatima Begum and Juan Felix-Pedro. 

Wrapping up the civics lesson, School Board Member Erica Whitside told the students, “If you learned anything it should be this – your voice matters.”