This year's Kids' Court trial, The County of the Land of Oz vs. Dorothy Gale of Kansas, will take place on April 25th and 26th at 11:00 a.m. Dorothy is on trial for the murder of the Wicked Witch of the West. Sixth grade students are examining evidence, preparing direct and cross-examination questions, and crafting their arguments to build and present their respective cases. The prosecution plans to call as its witnesses, Aunty Em, Scarecrow and Dr. N. Chantress, while the defense plans to call Gus T. Winds, Tinman, Cowardly Lion, and Glinda the Good Witch.
We encourage Laurence parents to attend one of the trials! Our students adapt the characters to make them their own, bringing humor to the event and making it truly enjoyable.
The Kids' Court program at Laurence School was created by Head of School, Laurie Wolke, JD. It is one of the country's few mock trial programs for elementary-school-aged-children. It teaches students about the legal system and how it can be a vehicle for righting wrongs. Through this unique, hands-on program, 6th Grade students try famous fictional and historical characters, such as Peter Pan, Willy Wonka, and Titanic Captain E.J. Smith. Sixth Graders play roles as prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, judge, and defendant, while students in 2nd through 5th Grades serve as jurors. All participants consider evidence, witness credibility, and arguments presented at trial. It all culminates in the children rendering a considered verdict.
Several Laurence parents (and attorneys) -- Michael Lifrak, Lisa Stone, and Adam Kamenstein -- have been helping our 6th Graders prepare their cases, as well as teaching them about our legal system. Mrs. Wolke has also been working with our younger students to prepare them for their roles as jurors!