SENIOR COURTHOUSE FIELDTRIP
April 13, 2016
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On January 12th and 13th, the senior government class took a field trip to the downtown San Diego Courthouse. Students were able to talk to a judge and witness real life court sessions. By this point in the year, seniors have studied the constitution and the three branches of government enabling them to connect what they have learned in the classroom to real life cases. “I vaguely had an idea of how the courthouse ran, but seeing the real thing in action was something I’ve never imagined before.” Senior, Jenna Richards comments. Jenna, along with many other seniors who attended this trip said it was beneficial.
Government teacher, Christina Berg has been taking students to the courthouse for about ten years. She feels it is important for students in our age range to see how our actions can have serious consequences. Berg also wanted to show students how judges really are regular citizens just like them. Many students or teens in general feel a little intimidated by judges since they are the people who give out sentences, yet Berg wanted students to understand the character and thought process of a judge. Berg states, “They start to understand that judges care about people in society and want to keep all of us safe.” Many students, such as Senior Krisel Magana, said they benefited from the lecture the judge gave and learned information they had never known. In addition to learning about the laws regarding statutory rape and child pornography, students were able to review real life cases where drunk driving lead to negative results.
When asked how students would describe this trip to underclassmen most students stated this was something they could definitely look forward to. Watching the difference between the misdemeanor and felony cases. For example, one of the biggest cases there was a murder trial. Students who sat in that courtroom saw the evidence brought forth by the prosecution. Also, in the misdemeanor courtroom students witnessed how DUI charges are resolved. “I would tell an underclassman to definitely be grateful that you’re able to go on this field trip and to enjoy it while you can.” Senior, Vanessa Rivera commented.