Last week, the Law and Society class at the Upper Campus class ventured to the Ventura County Courthouse to view the law in action.
|Senior Taylor Aronow served as the mock defendant at a mock trial staged at the courthouse.|
The 21 members of the class watched two felony preliminary hearings, presided over by Judge Matt Guasco, centered around theft of a vehicle, and drug and weapons charges.
Both defendants were held to answer to those charges at arraignments scheduled for later dates.
Every year the trips are different, as students are able to sit in on a wide variety of cases and ask questions of judges, lawyers and bailiffs.
This year’s class held a five-minute question-and-answer session with Judge Guasco as he was in between cases.
“I thought the trip went very well,” said Law and Society teacher Laurel Colborn. “This group was wonderful, energetic and interested in the procedure of a real courtroom.”
The class, which is designed for 12th graders, was created four years ago by Mrs. Colborn as a way of introducing students to the law.
“It is important for them to understand how the law changes for them as they reach age of adulthood,” Mrs. Colborn said. “I wanted to incorporate public speaking, debate, and mock trial into the course, as well as legal research and a discussion of the Supreme Court and current events.”
Mrs. Colborn has gone to the courthouse three out of the four years she has been teaching the class, and so far the excursions have been successful.
|Senior Jack Beverly presided over last week’s mock trial.|
“The field trip was really fun,” said senior Tim Waian. “We learned about preliminary hearings in criminal cases by viewing a case on grand theft auto and possession with intent to sell heroin, as well as a case concerning a man passed out drunk with a gun.”
Aside from experiencing the preliminary hearings, students took part in a mock trial.
Senior Jack Beverly played the role of judge, Miles Munding-Becker acted as prosecutor, Tim Waian was the defense attorney, and the role of defendant was played by Taylor Aronow.
Mock defendant Taylor Aronow was accused of petty theft for allegedly helping her son steal a pair of sneakers from K-Mart. She was found innocent.
“I thought that the field trip was a valuable experience,” Taylor said. “It gave us a true feel for how the courts run, and we learned more from that than we could have in the classroom.”
By Daphne Psaledakis, Class of 2015Share