Last year in the How to Be a Lawyer class at Camp Discover, the case focused on Goldilocks and whether she was guilty of intruding in the three bears’ home. This year, students are examining cases from real life. Teacher Justin Mitchell explained a case from the town of Franklin, KY, where he teaches during the school year. The school system had a program titled “Exploratorium,” and it turned out that the name is the trademark of a company based out of San Francisco. Simpson County Schools promptly changed names due to the threat of a lawsuit.
Another point of discussion was centered around ballot selfies. Should you be able to take a selfie at the polling place? Why or why not? A Michigan man challenged a state ban on selfies and pictures of marked ballots at the voting booth. “Why would a person break the law and then bring it to the court of law?” Mr. Mitchell asked. “Are there other examples in history when someone purposely broke the law to bring attention to that law?” Heads were nodding in agreement when he asked if Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lewis were examples of people breaking laws to bring attention to the laws.
“So, what about the man who took the ballot selfie? Should he win or lose his lawsuit against the state?”
Many of the students felt he should have the right to take a picture of his ballot with him in it as long as no one else was in the picture. A few felt selfies should not be allowed in voting areas. The lawsuit turned out to be a mix of being able to take a picture only in the booth but not in the polling place. Students were then charged with creating their own rule of every state to use for ballot selfies.
The week will continue the State of Texas v. Charlie Mather, a case centered on driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Students will learn about Charlie’s situation, hear from witnesses, read details of the case, and do proper research to argue for or against the defense. They may or may not agree with the side they are representing; however, learning to understand and appreciate the other side of the story is an essential life skill.