Area college kids dive into the justice system with a mock trial

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) — Middle schoolers Lubbock and Amarillo spent their Wednesday in the courtroom, honing their skills in a mock trial. The project is something the 8th and 9th graders in our area have been working on all semester.

The mock trial is part of Classical Conversations, a homeschooling program with communities across the country. Here in Lubbock, there is a southern community and a downtown community. There is also one in Amarillo. The students meet once a week to work on several projects, including the mock trial.

“Our students learn together, where parents can gear up and see what their students are learning. And then we take that stuff home and work on it the other four days of the week,” said Jennifer Odom, support rep for Classical Conversations of Lubbock.

After students have worked to perfect their mock trial throughout the semester, students argue their case in the Lubbock County Courthouse before a Lubbock attorney or judge.

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

Baxter says the mock trial gives him deeper insight 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 a career, but a chance to interact with other students.

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

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

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

Odom says this project goes beyond learning skills in the classroom.

“In today’s society, when so many people disagree and it’s impossible to have a different opinion and talk about it without upsetting someone, I think the fact that students learn to argue with respect and to listen to the other side and understand that there is another side, will benefit them for years to come as they grow into people,” she said.

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

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