WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—Tensions were high in Judge Meredith Kennedy’s 78th district courtroom as the state and defense hammered witnesses with questions regarding a construction accident gone wrong killing two people, the question is, who is at fault, and the other question is, is this real?

No, no, it’s not. It’s all part of Classical Conversations Challenge B Class’ mock trial project, a project that teaches these teens how to uphold and defend the law both in and out of the courtroom.

8th graders from Vernon, Graham, and Wichita Falls got front-row seats to see what exactly goes into preparing for a jury trial before two separate teams of students acted as the defense and prosecution in a real-life case but with some modifications.

“We’d work every week for one school semester and meet up sometime during that week and we would work on the assignments given to us like making cross-examination questions or direct examination questions or write a closing statement or an opening statement,” Madison Mclennan said.

8th grader Madison Mclennan played the role of the defense attorney in this mock trial, a trial that was held twice because of the amount of student participation, Mclennans mother, Brenna who is the Challenge B Director out of Vernon, said this project goes way beyond just trying a case.

“Our God is a God of justice, and as citizens and as Christians we are called to seek justice and to uphold it and to speak out for those who have no voice and so it was really important that our kids are learning how to do that,” Mclennan said.

Judge Kennedy acted as the presiding judge in this case, she said this experience for these students will stick with them longer than they realize.

“It’s so important for kids to do public speaking, I was painfully shy as a child which is shocking to most but public speaking in junior high got me out of my shell and more comfortable talking in front of people so I think it’s so important that we encourage kids to do that,” Judge Kennedy said.

While also possibly inspiring these young minds to want to practice law when they get older.

“Hopefully one of them or two of them will become lawyers someday and practice in Wichita County,” Kennedy said.

“Do you have any plans on becoming a lawyer when you grow up?”
Madison replied, “Not yet, but maybe later.”

Mclennan said this is the first year the 8th graders have done this project and said it will continue each year from now on.