In the community

Ontario student tries skills at mock political session

ONTARIO ­­– An Ontario High School student with aspirations of entering politics got to argue a bill in a committee session during a recent mock session of the Idaho Legislature in Boise.

Cayman Campbell, 16, was sponsored by the Malheur County Republican Central Committee to attend the mock session in June. According to Campbell, before camp, students were tasked with writing legislation of their choosing.

Over two days the students, pitched their bills in committees in presentations, answered questions and defended the merits of their potential legislation, she said. 

Campbell said her bill called for one day of social interactions in schools without cell phones or other electronic devices. She said she has noticed that students’ social skills could be better and in her opinion, one day a week without electronic devices would go a long way for kids.

Campbell’s bill did not make it out of committee. Many of the other participants, she said, are homeschooled and don’t see the impact the daily screen time has on students at public schools.

“I’m involved,” she said, “I see it constantly. They just did not get the full aspects of the bill.”

Campbell’s interest in politics started at a young age when her uncle, Brian Wolfe, former Malheur County sheriff, made his first bid for office.

Amber Campbell, Campbell’s mother said Campbell would be in tow in her car seat while she put out election signs, handed out campaign flyers, or attended events.

“She has just grown up in politics,” her mother said.

She would take Campbell to Rotary Club, school board, and other local meetings.

Campbell is involved in student government at Ontario High School. Last year she was the sophomore representative. This year, she will be the student body’s public relations officer. Additionally, Campbell serves as state vice president of development for the Future Business Leaders of America.

A polished public speaker, Campbell has been at it since she was in the sixth grade, and for the last two years, she competed in FBLA public speaking competitions.

Although she has aspirations for political office, her first goal is to get into law school when she graduates.

As for her political heroes, Campbell cites her mom, uncle and grandparents. And, while her mother has not held public office, she’s overseen a few elections.

“I look up to my mom and my uncle,” she said. “They both worked really hard. If they could do it, then I can if I follow their steps.”

In June, an Ontario High School student, Cayman Campbell, 16, attended a mock legislative session. (Contributed Photo)

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