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Area middle schoolers dive into justice system with mock trial

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock and Amarillo middle schoolers spent their Wednesday in the courtroom, sharpening their skills in a mock trial. The project is something 8th and 9th grade homeschoolers in our area have been working on all semester.

The mock trial is part of Classical Conversations, a homeschool program with communities across the nation. Here in Lubbock, there is a South Community and a Downtown Community. There’s also one in Amarillo. Students meet up once a week to work several projects, including the mock trial.

“Our students learn together, where parents get to be equipped and see what their students are learning. And then we take that material home and work on it the other four days of the week,” Jennifer Odom, support representative for Classical Conversations of Lubbock said.

After students have worked to perfect their mock trial all semester long, the students make their case at the Lubbock County Courthouse in front of a Lubbock attorney or judge.

“I’ve spent, I don’t know maybe 60-70 hours on this project,” eighth grader Camden Baxter said.

Baxter says the mock trial is giving him a closer look into a potential career.

“I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for a while now,” he said.

For other students, like freshman Claire Ellis, it’s not so much about a career, but a chance to interact with other students.

“This past few weeks we’ve just been going through the mock trial and preparing for our roles and each of us have our own individual roles so helping each other out with that is really fun,” Ellis said.

Amarillo ninth grader Ben Moore says he had fun learning about the justice system and working on his critical thinking. His dad was in the crowd at the courthouse to support.

“He’s helped me a lot through this like mock trial, just subject, he’s been really involved and it’s just, means a lot that he’s here,” he said.

Odom says this project is about more than learning classroom skills.

“In today’s society, when so many people disagree, and you can’t have a different opinion and speak to it without angering someone, I think the fact that students are learning a way to argue respectfully, and to listen to the other side and understand that there is another side, will benefit them for years to come as they mature into people,” she said

If you’re thinking about homeschooling but don’t know where to start, Odom says Classical Conversations is just the program for you. It’s accepting new student registrations for next year.

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