Laying Down the Law
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Laying Down the Law

By RJ Townsend

Politics, as of late, has been full of debate and selfish decisions for power. This is one reason why this Delta High School junior started his career in the local government: He wants to better his own generation and give his peers the resources they need.

“I think a big part of politics is working for and with everyday people,” Corbin Malchow said.

With his networks and connections, Corbin, a Republican, has been able to work a bill that he wrote in partnership with a state senator and move it toward becoming a law. He hopes this bill will be passed quickly and smoothly since it’s about a topic he knows well and wants to help fix. 

The bill is based on Corbin’s belief that students should have more mental health apps to reach out and find help. He wants these resources available to students without them worrying about who they talk to. It will be a dedicated space just for students.  

Twenty percent of high school students suffer from some sort of mental illness that’s not treated,” Corbin said.

He was able to write the bill with the help of the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council, which he is a part of. The group of high school and college students, ILYAC, engages in the state government. They learn about the legislative process and advise lawmakers on youth-related policies and legislation. 

“(The bill) requires the Department of Education to go out and get a whole list of mental health resources approved by the state,” Corbin said. “(Each school) will have to have a physical copy around the school, and then they’ll have to put it on their Canvas (or other web-based learning management system) and other school applications.”

Corbin believes that students’ mental health isn’t taken seriously, and that is something he wants to change with this bill. 

“He’s a determined individual,” State Sen. Scott Alexander (R-26) said. “He won’t take no for an answer.” 

Corbin had the help of Sen. Alexander, whose district consists of Delaware and Randolph counties. ILYAC and his family also helped him carry this bill. 

At age 10, Corbin met Sen. Alexander when Corbin’s father ran for Delaware County Commissioner. Corbin met with Sen. Alexander again when he joined his campaign for the State Senate this past summer. 

That’s when they started pitching ideas for bills together. 

Senator and student
Sen. Scott Alexander (R-26) poses with junior Corbin Malchow in the Statehouse. (Photo Provided)

Sen. Alexander was delighted when he and Corbin refined this bill. 

“I had a pretty good idea that this one was going to pass the Senate,” Sen. Alexander said. 

The full Senate passed the bill in February, meaning it’s getting closer to being the outcome Corbin and his supporters wanted. 

It is pending in the House of Representatives, where it also must be passed and then signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to become law.  The original bill has been combined with another bill that focuses on chronic absenteeism and Internet safety.

Sen. Alexander has been working to create more health resources around Muncie, including working with the state and Delaware County for a regional mental health center. He and Corbin are confident this bill will create a safe place for students.

Corbin hasn’t stopped working hard for this outcome, speaking about it, meeting with officials, and staying persistent with the bill. 

He spoke to more than 20 senators about this bill at the Statehouse, which he’s frequented more than a few times. From this, his confidence as an aspiring politician has grown.

This is a win for Corbin and students alike. He hopes this is the first of many wins he will have in politics. He plans to stay in Muncie and become a politician like his father.

“My future, it’s all lined up,” Corbin said.

March 5, 2024

About Author

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RJ Townsend RJ Townsend is a sophomore at Delta High School. She enjoys going to school events, going out with friends, and traveling. She is also a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings.


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