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Rep. Guthrie engages Highland Elementary

Allyson Dix

Jobe Publishing, Inc.


He can be found on the House Floor representing his constituents, presiding over a subcommittee at the federal level, and national news networks, but last Friday, Congressman Brett Guthrie was teaching Glasgow’s fifth graders about our government and how it came to be.

Guthrie, U.S. Representative of Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District, paid visit to Highland Elementary where fourth-grade Student Ambassadors gave him a tour around the school before discussing the United States Government with fifth-grade students.


Congressman Brett Guthrie entering the cafeteria before his discussion with Highland Elementary students. Photo by Allyson Dix


After the presentation, Guthrie told the Barren County Progress, “I have the great opportunity to serve in Washington D.C. and these people give me the great privilege of doing that and I like to be able to bring it back and in fifth grade, they are learning about the separation of powers and why we have the government we have.”


Guthrie began giving student discussions like these while serving as a Kentucky State Senator and has done the same with other fifth-grade classes in his district, however, this was the second time at Highland Elementary.

He has experience in dealing with education policies and desires for students to learn about the government in which they live and what better time than in the midst of their social studies lessons? After all, they are the leaders of our future.

“I really want to explain it to them while they’re right in the middle of learning it and we talked today about how we have a very sufficient system,” Guthrie said, before comparing it to his student discussion on the Parliament where one king ruled over all, which was the case before America declared their independence and broke away from Great Britain in 1776.

“The only way to govern is that you have representatives,” he added, “And one of the questions asked was, ‘Does it make it difficult to have so many people governing you?’”

Guthrie explained his answer to a student’s question, “I said that it does make it difficult, but you don’t want one person to have all the power, and that’s what I tried to explain today.”

And he did so with extensive historical and current details with examples sometimes using the students in hypothetical scenarios while applying some of the ways each branch of government would work.

In fact, Guthrie told tomorrow’s leaders where America came from all the way to where we are today, even down to the state and local levels.


Students listen intently during Congressman Brett Guthrie’s discussion on his role in the federal government. Photo by Allyson Dix


He also discussed how the Articles of Confederation helped establish how the U.S. government began to function, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution, as well as many other aspects pertaining to government.

His approximately 40-minute presentation was interesting enough to keep the attention of the students including the adults in the room.

He also engaged, at times, the students by allowing them to finish his sentences or answer questions based on their current knowledge from things they’ve learned in class.

One of the most notable times would occur when Guthrie would say, “No taxation without…”

“REPRESENTATION!” students would excitedly yell out.


Highland Elementary student smiles while answering questions in the Q&A session with Congressman Brett Guthrie. Photo by Allyson Dix


The fifth-grade students are in the classes of Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Byrd, Mrs. Lloyd, and Ms. Robertson.

Guthrie was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 and currently serves as the Chair of the Health Subcommittee on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is the longest-standing legislative committee in the House with broad jurisdiction of our nation’s energy, health care, telecommunications, and consumer product safety policies. He also serves as a Deputy Whip for a third term within the House Republican Conference for the 118th Congress. Prior to that, he was first elected to represent the 32nd District in the Kentucky Senate in 1998 until elected as Congressman.


Congressman Brett Guthrie discusses the three branches of government, how they came to be after the separation from, and his role as a representative in the United States Congress. Photo by Allyson Dix


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