May 17, 2022

Rehoboth Middle School Students Participate in Discovering Justice Mock Trial

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Culminating a ten-week program in which middle schools were partnered with legal mentors from Choate, Hall & Stewart, Rehoboth students presented their cases about the First Amendment at an in-person Mock Trial at Beckwith Middle School.

Beckwith Middle School students conducted their hour-long trials in front of Judge Souza from the Bristol County Juvenile Court on the issue of unpopular speech on campuses. The fictional case posed the question of whether a school official could stop a student from bringing a provocative speaker to the school.

“We need to prepare our students to steward and engage in our democracy,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of Discovering Justice. “Our Mock Trial Program helps students examine the workings of the justice system, learn with lawyers, and explore and question the ideals of justice.”

Discovering Justice is a civic education non-profit that provides after-school programs as well as in-school civics and social studies curriculum for K-12 students across Massachusetts. Taught by experienced legal mentors, students in the Mock Trial Program explore the justice system to learn about their First Amendment rights, grapple with real constitutional issues, develop persuasive arguments, and practice questioning and examining witnesses.

Although the developing Omicron variant prompted Discovering Justice staff to make adjustments to event procedures, students were still able to gather safely to present their cases and receive certificates in recognition of all their hard work over the fall semester.

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