Mock trial provides home school kids real courtroom experience

Mock trial provides home school kids real courtroom experience

WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - Wichita Falls and Vernon home-schooled students faced off with Lawton home-schooled students for the first time in court Saturday. Both sides spent weeks learning the law, court procedures and the roles they would be playing. Roles included Attorney, Witnesses, Medical Examiner, and Psychologist. Everyone that could be involved in a murder trial. Criminal Defense Attorney Micheal Valverde helped get the eighth graders ready along with a number of guest speakers.

“I’m very excited it always astonishes me how well the kids are prepared and well they speak, and I told Tera before some of the arguments they make and the questions they ask are questions that I hear every day in Wichita Falls, so I’m really impressed with the kids,” said Micheal Valverde.

The Mock trial took place in the 30 district court at Wichita County courthouse. Judge Jeff McKnight presided over Saturday’s case.

The mock trial concludes a 30 week semester where students learned about the legal system in a competitive manner.

"All of our eight graders go through this challenge B program and learn this judicial system process and go through this mock trial," said Tara Dora, Classical Conversations leader.

Both teams got a chance to act as the prosecution team and the defense team. Students did a lot of preparation and reading too.

“First we had to learn about the case and read over all the testimonies and everything. Then we had to prepare how we were going to do our case, set it up and, what our main points were and everything. It's definitely a long process but worth it,” Selah Ohman.

It wasn't easy, but the students enjoyed it.

“That was pretty fun. I do theater at Wichita Falls theater. It’s kind of like a performance as a witness, in this case, I guess you have to memorize the witness statement and so that if they ask you a question, you already know the answer,” said Abby Hobert.

Since this was the first time the group met, they did not know what the other group would say.

“We didn’t expect them to react that way,” Evan Schultz.

“I especially like questioning witnesses and figuring out stuff, yeah that my favorite part,” Gideon Gish.

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