We talk about making learning real and transparent for our students, our civics classes certainly did that on Wednesday at UMF!
Several Civics classes at Messalonskee High School attended workshops at the University of Maine at Farmington hosted by the ACLU of Maine. The students learned about the 4th Amendment rights of students through a mock trial of the Supreme Court case of New Jersey v. TLO, where a student is searched after smelling of smoke while exiting the bathroom at her high school. Should the school have the right to search the student based upon these circumstances? The students had a blast arguing both sides of this case after being prepped by professional attorneys.
Incidentally, the team with mostly MHS students won the case, though their decision is not what the Supreme Court actually ruled. (TLO could be searched)
Other workshops included talks by attorneys on the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th
Amendments to the Constitution and how it applies to their every day lives. Through explaining case studies and past experiences in court, kids were directly exposed with real life situations that will inform them on their rights and how those rights may be exercised in a professional and appropriate way.
Our students represented Messalonskee with class and professionalism and should be applauded for the enthusiasm they exhibited throughout the day long conference.
J. DeMott (MHS Social Studies)
H. Karagiannes (MHS Social Studies)