By Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez, 15th Wing Public Affairs
In recognition of Law Day 2014, Pacific Air Forces and 15th Wing judge advocate offices hosted educational mock trials on May 1 at Mokulele and Aliamanu Elementary Schools.
The mock trials were based on the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” providing a familiar story while teaching the students about the process of a trial court session.
Master Sgt. Michael Smart, PACAF/JA administrative law NCO in charge, said he thinks the students, kindergarten through third graders, learned a lot during the trials.
“Today was fun, and we had great participation from the crowd,” Smart said. “The students were all very attentive. It’s good for the students to see how the trial system works. They got to see how both the plaintiff and the defendant argued their side of the story.”
Members of the legal offices played the roles of the scenario, including Goldilocks, Goldilocks’ mother, Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear, legal representatives from both sides, and a judge who presided over the “court room.” Several students were selected to be official members of the jury; however, the entire audience weighed in on the trial.
“The entire process was simplified for an elementary audience, but I think they received the basic knowledge of how a trial works,” said Capt. Casey Hinson, PACAF/JA executive officer. “We were able to teach law through a well-known children’s story, so it was neat to see how the students participated.”
After rounds of witness questioning, the audience had time to deliberate their final decision as jury members, and the verdict was delivered with excitement: Goldilocks was guilty of misbehaving by entering the Bear family home and eating their porridge.
“I think all the participants did really well playing their characters,” Smart said.
“Keeping the students interested in the trial was part of the challenge but we pulled it off today.”