Monday, February 10, 2014
Taking the Courtroom to the Classroom
On February 10, 2014, United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Major of the U.S. District for the Southern District of California visited a 4th grade classroom in San Diego. She presided over the mock trial of the People of the Forest v. Goldilocks. Students took on all the speaking roles, including that of judge, and also served as jurors. The students debated whether an invitation from Mama Bear to "Come back any time" included entering the property when no one was home. They discussed with whom the responsibility for breaking a chair lies if the chair is in a weakened condition, and they also discussed whether it is appropriate to eat someone else's breakfast if no one else appears to be eating it. These youngsters impressed Judge Major with their reading ability and the way they grasped the issues presented. At the end of the event, they had the opportunity to try on Judge Major's robe and received gavel pencils as a reminder of their day "in court."