It’s hard to get and keep the attention of a class of fourth graders. Judge Tierra Jones and Judge Eric Johnson kept the attention of two fourth grade classes from Grant M. Bowler Elementary School in Logandale, NV and taught them some valuable lessons on the justice system when they put on a mock trial in District Court. The mini legal eagles got into their roles as judges, jurors, attorneys, witnesses and marshals in a trial to determine if legendary wizard Harry Potter was guilty of the misuse of magic. After hearing the testimony with built in hints on how courts work, the fourth grader found Potter not-guilty. The students peered into the holding cell which gave them a stark view of what happens to those who get caught in the justice system.
Two more classes from Grant M. Bowler will visit the court on Friday, Nov. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Judge Kerry Earley in courtroom 12D and Judge Adrianna Escobar will host the mock trials.
The mock trials are a cooperative effort between the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court, nonprofit agency Project REAL and the school. In preparation for the student mock trials, Project REAL provides teachers lessons to convey the roles and processes of a criminal trial. The students get an immersive, real-world learning experience, with the benefit of Project Real classroom lessons to set the stage for better understanding. The students embark on their journey through the justice system with the legal terms and other information provided in the classroom sessions.
District Court Judge Doug Herndon envisioned the mock trial program. He wrote the script involving Harry Potter to provide a fun and interesting method for young students to learn about the justice system. The activities promote the importance of education, highlight potential legal careers and demonstrate the outcome of bad choices.
Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching K-12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. For more information from Project REAL, please contact Program Director Mike Kamer at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 702.703.6529, or visit http://projectrealnv.org.