Kids take charge of the courtroom - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kids take charge of the courtroom

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July 2, 2004

Valdosta - Taylor Lamb is running the courtroom today. She's only 10 years old, but already a pro at the legal system. "Its awesome because I feel like I had the power," said Lamb.

The setup looks real, but Taylor and eight other Valdosta students are actually part of a mock trial. It's a showcase of what they've learned this week at Valdosta State University's "You be the Judge" camp. "We learned all about the criminal justice system and how prisoners go through court and what the judges do," said Holli Parker. "This gave them the chance to understand, in a simplistic style, what goes on in the courtroom," said Instructor Betsy Rollins.

The judge, lawyers, and even the jurors are all under 12 years old. The plaintiff and defendant are their teachers. "I was charged with theft by taking a bicycle," said Rollins.

It may sound petty, but its a crime in the eyes of the law, and something these kids can really relate to. "Its really fun because you get to talk a lot and argue," said Parker.

Today's trial is shaping their career choices. "It was fun being the prosecutor attorney so I might want to be that when I grow up," said Parker.

And in the future, these kids could be the ones we depend on for a fair justice system.

posted at 2:40 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com