Marion and Hillsboro seventh graders visited the Marion County Courtroom Monday to watch a line docket — sentencing, first appearance, status hearings, bond appearances, and probation revocation — with Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Powers presiding court.
“Each year we bring the seventh grade,” Marion Middle School principal Tod Gordon said. “Everyone who comes through middle school gets to see a live docket.”
Middle schoolers sat in on the court session as a part of Law Day organized by the Marion County probation department.
The goal for teachers was twofold: To illuminate the judicial process and give a glimpse into what defendants go through.
“See how the judge and attorneys interact with one another,” Marion Middle School teacher Chad Adkins said.
Adkins was one of the teachers to accompany students at court. At one point, he turned to his male students during a recess and said, “Do you guys ever want to be up there?” answered by a round of heads shaking “no.”
Adkins will also use the court experience as part of his social studies curriculum for local government.
For court employees, the experience is more about giving students an understanding of how the court system works as a whole. Powers, attorneys Dan Baldwin and Susan Robson, and Chief Parole Officer Nikki Davenport answered questions after the session.
“They’ll always ask a lot of questions,” Davenport said. “We definitely hope to spark an interest.”