Lesson in jurisprudence at the elementary level

L to r: McKenzie Borwnlee, Tabatha Hanson as Gold E. Locks, Stephanie Ewen, Brad Hessel, and Cheyenne Gabica.
L to r: McKenzie Borwnlee, Tabatha Hanson as Gold E. Locks, Stephanie Ewen, Brad Hessel, and Cheyenne Gabica.

On May 1, fifth grader Tabatha Hanson donned a champagne-colored wig, to approach Eagle Rock School’s gymnasium-turned-"courtroom." She acknowledged that for the character she portrayed, Gold E. Locks, this could have become a mayday by its alternate definition-a distress call.

Three plaintiffs in the mock trial had pressed charges difficult to refute.
beloved, well-respected, huggable family, the Bears, aired their
outrage concerning Ms. Locks’s callous disregard for manners. Reputedly
the world’s most outstanding porridge cook, Mom A. Bear (McKenzie
Brownlee) testified that on the morning in question she’d prepared her
family’s favorite breakfast. Along with spouse, Pop A. Bear, (Brad
Hessel,) and cub Babe E. Bear (Stephanie Ewen), she suffered
deprivation of  said breakfast because of the defendant’s actions. The
prosecution introduced into evidence its exhibit A:  Pop A. Bear’s
empty porridge bowl. This bore the imprint of  his name, clearly
denying license or permission to anyone else wishing to partake from
The defense claimed the Plaintiffs had left their
cottage door open, thereby implying an invitation, which the defendant
graciously accepted. The tastiness of the porridge in question prompted
Ms. Locks to follow up with a nap. The Bear family should have found
the guest’s behavior flattering. 
In her judicial garb, Cheyenne Gabica presided over the jury trial paying careful attention to proper decorum. 
Mason Marshall, Lori Evans, and Linda Saling underwent training at
Educational Services District two days in January and February for the
Classroom Law Project. "This is a federally-funded program," Marshall
 "It’s designed to help teachers bring civics learning
back to the classroom," added Evans. The faculty members received a
catalog of scripts for mock trials. Marshall’s wife who teaches in
Grants Pass lent the bears’ costumes to his students. 
one class trip to Jackson County’s court, Evans said , the fifth
graders sat in on an actual arraignment. Then an attorney instructed
them on how to be good jurors.     To cast their program, the teachers
drew students’ names from a box, and let them select whatever available
role they wanted. Among them, Jacob Anusten chose a bailiff’s part,
and  Jacob Johnson, an attorney’s. Others, including Jordan Cardenas
portrayed  photographers in a courtroom that even included sketch
Two other mock trials took place at Eagle Rock’s four-hour-long event. 
first bore the title, Village of Sheepfold vs. Joey Wolfcryer (Jared
Thebo.). It detailed the citizens’ anguish when Wolfcryer allegedly
turned in three false-alarms regarding wolf-sightings. Witnesses
testified that Joey had studied "wolf-cry-ology" in school, and had
learned it  well. Joey’s defense team  argued for freedom of speech.
They also pointed out that the fourth alarm, which the townsfolk
ignored, could, if heeded,  have saved their now-devastated flocks. .
The final case involved  a lawsuit against the shrewdest of
three little pigs. His indignant victim, the big bad wolf, filed an
action demanding to know how dare that swine attempt to cook him?"   
According to proud parents in the audience, learning seems to be much more fun now than when they attended school.
By F.C. Blake
Of the Independent


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