Midst last month’s school cancellations and delays, “attorneys” at Edon High School were revising opening and closing arguments while “witnesses” reviewed statements in final case preparations for their entry into the 31st Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition.
Edon High School students took part in Ohio Mock Trial District Competition Friday, January 31, 2014 in Toledo Municipal Court. This is the school’s twenty-fourth year of participation in the program sponsored by Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. Each year the Center writes an original, Constitution-based case aimed to inform students of their rights as citizens as well as helping them develop critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills.
In this year’s case, Phillips School District v. Jesse Springfield, et al., Phillips High School agrees to license naming rights of its field to a large corporation. In response, students organized protests both in school and on the field. The school district responded by installing security cameras, searching lockers of the students involved and filing a lawsuit seeking an order authorizing the school to remove the students from the field. The students claimed that the school district’s actions violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights.
To maximize student learning in the competition, teams consisting of five to eleven students prepared both plaintiff and defense cases and competed in two trials against opposing teams. District winners throughout the state advanced to nine regional competition rounds held Friday, February 21; state finals are set for March 6-8 in Columbus where the championship round will take place at the Ohio Statehouse. The state winner moves on to national competition in Madison, Wisconsin, May 8-10.
2014 Mock Trial
EHS Team Alpha
Mock Trial Competitions
Defense Team Alpha
St. John’s Jesuit
Plaintiff Team Alpha
St. Francis de Sales
Attorneys for the Plaintiff
Witnesses for the Plaintiff
(Principal Jaime Gomez)
(Officer Casey Mancuso)
(VP of the NFC Company)
Witnesses for the Defense
(Jesse Springfield, leader of Occupy)
(Alex Chen, teacher)
(Pat Jacobs, school custodian)
Mark Blue, EHS American History/Government teacher served as advisor to the Mock Trial team; Mike Spangler, an attorney with Newcomer, Schaffer, Spangler and Breininger, lent a hand as legal consultant.
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education designs programs to assist teachers in teaching students about government, citizenship and the law. The Center is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio State Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In addition, the Ohio Mock Trial Competition was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.
This year, more than three thousand high school students entered thirty different courtrooms across the state to participate in district competition. Mock Trial is Ohio’s largest high school academic competition and among the largest high school mock trial programs in the nation.