Trial and tales teach lessonsPublished 7:40pm Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Last Friday, first-grade students from Eastern Elementary School visited the Beaufort County District Court House to not only tour the courthouse, but to learn how our justice system operates.
The trial was truly amazing — and humorous. In essence, Marty Paramore and court officials took a story that the students could easily relate to and set up a mock trial. The court tried the Big Bad Wolf for his heinous crimes against the three little pigs, namely blowing their houses down and breaking and entering. The case also speculated the wolf’s motives behind such crimes, which the court determined was the desire to eat the three little pigs.
The students played each of the roles in the courtroom, including judge, jury, bailiff, court reporter, attorneys and clerk of court. The students were asked to point to where each person was supposed to be stationed in the courtroom prior to the drawing of names to determine who would play each role.
Typically, storybooks, particularly fables, tell some form of lesson to learn from, like that of Little Red Riding Hood, for example. We grow up reading stories such as these and we are taught at a young age about different facts of life through something we can remember and comprehend. The mock trial went a step further than the norm.
The trial was very interactive and funny — something that will surely stick in the minds of the students for years and years to come. That is what the trial was meant to accomplish — a way to teach students about the justice system and court proceedings that they would remember.
It also accomplished another goal. It showed students that a person accused of a crime is guilty until proven innocent as well as the Sixth Amendment rights of the United States Constitution — the right to a speedy and public trial — and speedy it was. After a short deliberation, the jury of students returned to the courtroom with the verdict, determining the fate of the Big Bad Wolf.
The wolf, played by Assistant District Attorney Michael Holloman, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in jail and was ordered to never have pork again for the rest of his life.