Playing lawyers, jurors, witnesses, and bailiff, more than 300 students took part Tuesday in the Educational Service Center of Lorain County’s 11th Annual Mock Trial at the Elyria Justice Center.
Students in grades five through eight from Amherst, Avon, Avon Lake, Columbia, Clearview, North Ridgeville, and Oberlin all took on judicial system roles to explore how courts work.
Seventh-graders from Oberlin and Amherst faced off in the case “Nothing But The Truth,” presided over by “judge” Paul Griffin, a Lorain attorney.
Oberlin’s Katrina Ganson, Maggie Shuck, Jadden Young, and Emerson Freas served on the defense team and Amherst’s Charlee Farlow, Sebastian Pecora, Laken Voss, Dani Dudziak, and Ava Barnes were prosecutors.
Each group called three witnesses to the stand for cross-examination.
The mock trials are meant to simulate real court cases.
“The goal of (the) mock trial is to provide students with a real-life learning experiences that are an intrinsically motivational way for them to learn and apply what they have learned,” said a statement by the ESC. “Some of the most important skills included in the process include refining listening, speaking, and reading skills.”
ESC gifted supervisor Cathy Fischer said the trials also give students a chance to compete against other schools.
“The students learn courtroom procedures and the people and rights involved with the legal system,” the ESC said. “It also teaches how to evaluate both sides of an issue and resolve conflicts in a nonviolent manner.”
The jurors found Philip Malloy guilty of all charges, which means Amherst won the case.
Both Oberlin and Amherst students said after the case they thought it went really well and the witnesses did a great job.
“We’re more prepared for the next one,” said Amherst’s Laken Voss, who was referring to the next mock trial against Avon Lake.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Civitas Media
Oberlin’s Maggie Shuck, Jadden Young, and Emerson Freas prepare for the mock trial to begin.