Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 15, 2013

Ponderosa students learn about the judicial system

CATLETTSBURG — Everybody goes through the metal detector.

That’s the first lesson a class of Ponderosa fifth-graders learned Thursday when they visited the C. David Hagerman Justice Center, which houses Boyd County’s district and circuit courts.

The children went there for a tour personally conducted by circuit judge George Davis. Davis was there at the door to greet them, but even the most innocent-seeming visitors have to follow the rules.

So each of them filed through the uprights and only their teacher, Sheri Henry, triggered the sensors. So they got the privilege of watching a deputy check her from head to toe with a metal-detecting wand.

The field trip was a hands-on civics lesson for the children, who are in an advanced social studies class for students who want to deepen their knowledge of government functions.

After a brief meeting with circuit clerk Linda Kay Baker, the students took the elevator to Davis’ third-floor courtroom for a little roleplaying.

Davis put one of the students, Jada Miller, in his own robe and plopped her in his own chair at the bench; he assigned other students to portray jury, attorneys and defendant and directed them to the appropriate seats.

From their courtroom vantage points the children learned an array of civic lessons, from the way juries are selected to courtroom decorum to sentencing options.

 They discussed some pertinent constitutional issues like the concepts of fair and impartial juries and double jeopardy.

They received rare behind-the-scenes peeks at the jury deliberation room and the concrete-walled holding cell where prisoners are confined pending their hearings in court.

“Don’t read the door,” one student cautioned after catching a glimpse of off-color graffiti scratched by a bored prisoner.

The Constitution and the workings of the three branches of U.S. government are among core content requirements for fifth-graders, Henry said. “I wanted them to see the actual roles people play in the courtroom” she said.

Real-world study encourages students to keep track of current events, she said.

“These kids need to know how government works and the consequences for actions,” Davis said.

 MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723bcfair0083.jpg Boyd County Fair in full swing

    Arriving at the Boyd County Fairgrounds last night, ears were filled with the sounds of children’s laughter, grown-up chatter and the screams of those individuals brave enough to partake of the weathered rides.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cans, trailer and moving dollies reported stolen to APD

    A thief targeted recyclables in a heist at the Pollard Place group home Friday.

    July 22, 2014

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • School discrimination suit settled

    A former Greenup County schools custodian has settled his federal racial discrimination suit against the school district, but the terms will not be made public.

    July 22, 2014

  • Family trip detour provides military thrill for 10-year-old

    Jeremy Crawford’s idea of a good time is a seat beside his papaw, watching their favorite World War II movies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Highlands marks year of progress

    This time last year, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center was facing an eviction notice. Now, the museum is celebrating a year’s worth of progress where not only does it have ownership of its Winchester Avenue building, but is seeing an upswing in exhibition attendance.

    July 22, 2014

  • First lady recognizes Morehead

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching Trail Town certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/23/14

    The inaugual Ride for Autism will be Aug. 23, starting and ending at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall, including a stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014