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Justice: Best served too cold

Mock trial helps students learn the intricacies of the judicial system

Yasmin the unicorn, played by Ballston Scholar Caitlin Doyle, is questioned by the prosecution on if she witnessed Goldilocks enter the three bears home.

Yasmin the unicorn, played by Ballston Scholar Caitlin Doyle, is questioned by the prosecution on if she witnessed Goldilocks enter the three bears home. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Another fairy tale trial will be performed in March. The lessons prepare the students for a larger trial recreation at the end of the year. As part of the curriculum, the students will learn about the Boston Massacre. In June, they will recreate the trial for a more hands-on experience with the lesson.

“I start with fairy tales because the stories are easily recognized by the children,” said McCarthy. “It brings the theories of the judicial system to their level.”

On Friday, Dec. 16, the Ballston Scholars of Malta Avenue Elementary held their trial with visiting parents acting as jurors. Goldie was being charged with vandalism, larceny and criminal trespassing, and the parents needed to decide if she was guilty or innocent.

To mimic a real trial, witnesses were asked to put their hand on the “bauble” before testifying and “to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you Bob.”

The defense claimed the whole ordeal was a misunderstanding.

According to Goldie’s sister Silvia, on July 7, 1877, Goldie and her sister were on the way to give an anniversary present to friends of their parents when they came to a fork in the road. Weighed down by the present she was carrying, Silvia claimed to have told Goldie to walk ahead of her when Goldie took the wrong fork in the road.

“I’m still not good with my lefts and rights,” responded Goldie, played by Hannah Thompson.

Goldie claimed she didn’t think it was weird no one was home because her mother had said the Steels might be busy preparing for their anniversary. She also didn’t think anything of the porridge left on the table or the three beds upstairs, explaining how she thought the food had been left out for her and her sister and the extra bed was made in case they stayed the night.”

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