GREAT FALLS — Seniors in Cascade High School’s Government class visited the Cascade County Court to run through a mock trial. 22 students had the opportunity to engage in a realistic courtroom process with Judge David Grubich presiding over the events.
“Every year I bring the students here to understand what the government courts are like,” Amanda Brown, Social Studies teacher at Cascade High School said, “So that they have an understanding, firsthand knowledge.”
The trial was about a woman trying to stop a dog from destroying her flowers and getting bit in the process, and each student played a role in the court room. Although the case was laid back, they went through all the motions of an actual court case, from attorneys examining and cross-examining witnesses to having a jury of peers.
“I'm hoping that this will spark something in them. Obviously, we don't want them to have to come to court for any reason, but maybe this will spark something,” Brown said, “It'll make someone interested in becoming a lawyer, wanting to work in the courthouse. But if they do have to come to the courthouse, they'll understand how the government works, how courts work, and that if they ever have to come here, they'll understand how our system works.”
It was an educational experience for the students, who were given a taste of what a career in law could look like, and it taught them skills they can use outside of the courtroom, such as public speaking and interpretation of the law.
“I've always wanted to be like something in the justice system,” Bridget, one of the students who was on the jury said, “So this is very eye opening for me, and I find it very interesting.”
The students also received a tour of the courthouse and were able to sit in on a district court hearing going on that day.