State courts launch Speakers Bureau program

Published 6:01 pm Monday, August 29, 2016

Legal professionals across the state are working to educate students about their work in the judicial branch.

As part of the North Carolina Court System’s Speakers Bureau program, more than 300 legal professionals, ranging from attorneys to judges, volunteered to speak at schools in their respective counties to give students a personalized perspective on the court system, according to a press release.

Beaufort County has three volunteer speakers: Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Jones (District 2), Assistant Clerk of Superior Court Jackie Castle (District 3A) and Assistant District Attorney Toni Cameron (District 1).

“Our courts handle approximately 3 million cases each year, cases that help keep our citizens safe, our economy vibrant and our liberties secure,” Chief Justice Mark Martin stated in the release. “We must educate North Carolinians and improve public understanding of the vital role that courts perform in protecting our constitutional rights and responsibilities.”

Cameron said she volunteered to be a speaker because she wants to give students a better view of the courtroom and her role there.

“I want to get young people interested in a career in the legal profession,” she said. “Why is this system necessary? What is the judicial branch of government, and how are we separate from other branches of government?”

She said she plans to start reaching out to schools and teachers in Beaufort County in the next week to let them know she is willing to come speak.

Randy Bright, a civics and economics teacher at Washington High School, said learning concepts of how U.S. government works is important because it affects many aspects of life.

“It teaches about values, rights, responsibilities and gives a citizen the tools necessary to ‘own in’ to the experience. It teaches the importance of taking part in politics (activism) and helping to choose the leaders of local, state and national government,” Bright said of civics education. “It teaches the impact laws have on our society and provides the knowledge as to how one can promote a law or get one changed or eliminated. It teaches how we are given rights, but with each one, there comes a responsibility as well.”

Cameron said she also hopes talking with students will encourage them to pursue a legal career and then use their talents right at home.

“You don’t have to go to a big city to make a big impression,” she said. “There’s a lot of work that can be done right here in eastern North Carolina.”

“I think it will be interesting. I think that they will learn something,” Cameron added.

For more information or to schedule a speaking presentation, visit