Halfway Tree Magistrate Court visit


Yesterday was a field trip to the HalfWay Tree Magistrate Court, a local civil and criminal court in Kingston. My students were required to attend a court session, report on it and write a story, not for publication.

We arrived at 9:00am to enter court at 9:30am, as had been previously arranged. Our entrance was smooth, however, several court sessions were delayed. The students, all dressed in business attire, were divided into groups of five (the boys had to tuck their shirts in and take off their hats. I did not have to tuck my shirt in.) A police officer gave us a short description of each courtroom (petty matters, sexual offenses, criminal court, etc) and told us which courtrooms we could not attend due to privacy issues.

After a short wait, the students were directed to each room. I attended one courtroom with several students. Unfortunately. I say unfortunately as it had to do with a heart wrenching sexual attack on a female. The male offender was in the courtroom, as was his defense lawyer. The judge heard the case and made a decision to move the case along. The judge was also very gracious, acknowledging our presence, and explaining some details of the proceedings.

My students seem to have learned a lot and to have enjoyed it. Thank you to the staff for accommodating us.

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