BY SHERI TRUSTY
Port Clinton High School students debated “The Case of the Potty Perp” during a mock trial in Judge Louis Wargo’s courtroom at Port Clinton Municipal Court on Tuesday, May 16. Student Bryce James played a defendant accused of causing destruction to the school bathroom after a lunchroom cheese sandwich caused him to “fill the toilet to the brink.”
The mock trial was the culmination of Government Day activities that gave students in Megan Hill’s classes an insider’s look at city government.
“In the morning, students job shadowed a variety of city officials. For example, several students went around with the EMT and fire department. They got to spray the fire hose, climb the fire ladder, dress in gear, and ride in the truck,” Hill said. “Another rode around with a police officer. Two went around with the mayor and the safety service director.”
The experience allowed the students to better understand municipal government.
“Government Day gave 30 students an opportunity to see real government in action. We work hard in the classroom every day, so it was nice to get out and have a different experience,” Hill said. “These students volunteered to attend Government Day, and some of them requested to shadow some professions they see themselves going into someday.”
Among them was Makenna Wells, who shadowed a dispatcher.
“Government day was so much fun, and I learned so much about dispatching and how important it is to the community,” Wells said.
The students who participated in the mock trial prepared for the case as real lawyers would.
“The student lawyers prepped in advance for the mock trial and spent hours outside of class time to prepare the details of the case,” Hill said. “In the morning, real lawyers helped refine their case and teach them some of the key phrases they should say while in trial.”
Judge Wargo assisted student Giavanna Astley, who portrayed the judge in the mock trial.
“It was so nice of city hall and the courthouse to invite us over to learn all about the inner workings of local government,” Hill said. “It was also very kind of the two lawyers to give up their morning to work with our students on their case. The judge kindly worked with Giavanna all morning to prep her for her role as judge.”
Student Gage Johnson, who portrayed a prosecuting attorney in the mock trial, walked away from Government Day with a greater appreciation of city government.
“Government Day was a great experience. I got to see behind the scenes of all the jobs that hold up Port Clinton. It was good to see into the life of these important people,” Johnson said.