Middle School Students Bring Drama to the Courtroom
Court is in session this week at the Supreme Court of Ohio, as nearly 500 teens flock to the annual Middle School Mock Trial Showcase.
Wearing fancy hats and red coats from American Revolutionary times, teenagers bring the classic novel “Johnny Tremaine” to life.
It’s set in Boston during the tense 18th century conflict between American colonists and Great Britain.
Cincinnati Native Warner Sanker, plays the role of “Johnny” for his school.
“I’m pretty good on my feet finding loopholes and I’m confident most of the time, “ Sanker said.
The plot is this: The prosecution side tries to prove that Johnny is a spy for the Americans.
But mock defense attorneys like Anna Schlosser represent the boy, and, in the end, her performance wins her the prize for “best attorney” in the case.
“I was quite a bit surprised because I didn’t think I did that well, “ Schlosser said. “My closing statements were a bit shaky because I just edited them on the way here. So I’m really happy.”
The teens aren’t the only ones who get in on the fun. Tim Kalgreen works with the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, a group that sponsors the showcase.
“It’s their Super Bowl, it’s their World Series. They are enjoying it and they want to have a lot of fun,” Kalgreen said.
They have real attorneys, even judges, volunteer to oversee the trials.
“It surprised me that there were real judges and it was like a courtroom,” student Justin Chen said.
While it may be nerve racking at times for the teenagers, it’s an exciting time visiting the Supreme Court in the Capital City.
“I’m having a good time, lunch was fun to talk with my friends and get some feedback from teachers and friends, “ Schlosser said.
As for future plans, some of the students have it all figured out.
“I may go into law, “Chen said.
Plus there are no winners and losers; instead it’s a learning experience to remember.