Mock trial gives fifth graders a taste of justice system
Friday’s courtroom drama in Truckee ranked up there with recent great trials like Martha Stewart’s and the OJ case. Yes, B.B. Wolf vs. Curly Pig was huge.Everyone in the courtroom rose when the honorable Judge Abby entered the Nevada County Superior Courtroom for the mock trial to decide whether Mr. Pig was guilty of trying to cook Mr. Wolf.
A crowd of parents, a reporter and a courtroom artist filled the gallery seats Friday to witness Sara Kuttel’s fifth-grade class hold a trial of wolf vs. pig.”This is the first time we’ve done this whole thing,” said Shane Fisher, waiting in the queue outside of the courtroom just moments before he would play a bailiff in the mock trial. “I’m nervous about going ‘Um, um’ and forgetting my lines.”Judges from courts all over the United States created the mock trial script used in Kuttel’s class last week. In the script, Mr. Wolf claimed Ms. Pig allegedly tried to cook Mr. Wolf, causing Mr. Wolf to be burned and incur $3,100 in medical bills.
Kuttel’s students each had a role in the trial. Among others, there was a wolf, a pig, a court clerk, plaintiff and defense attorneys.The students on the jury, who had not heard the script until the trial date, had to decide in favor of the plaintiff or defendant after they had heard the case. During the jury’s deliberation, fifth-grader Nole Trowe said he had hunch that his peers would rule in favor of Mr. Wolf.
“I feel that everything is going to go OK, and they’re going to make the right decision,” he said.In a five-to-seven vote, the jury chose Mr. Wolf, who had convinced the jury that Ms. Pig tried to cook him in a cauldron of boiling water.The aim of the mock trial, Kuttel said, is to help students understand their civil rights in the United States.