Students in the Regional Day School Program for the Deaf at Bonham Elementary in El Paso got to dip their toes into the law for a day thanks to a federal judge and local attorneys.
The pupils turned mock legal practitioners tried a faux case on September 30, using characters from the Disney movie Snow White, in the federal courtroom of Hon. David Guaderrama, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Bruce Weathers and Sandra Lewis of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Texas, and El Paso Assistant District Attorney Lori Hughes supervised the student attorneys.
This was the 18th mock trial the judge and attorneys have helped El Paso students put on, said Douglas Jackson, a teacher at the program for deaf children at Bonham Elementary.
When Jackson moved to the El Paso area in 1995 from Florida—where he had previously run a law-related education program—he started the mock trials with Guaderrama’s help, using mostly fairy tale cases, at two elementary schools and a middle school in the district.
“I wanted our deaf students to know that we as Americans are blessed with constitutional rights in court, but need to have interpreters and other services to truly benefit from those rights,” Jackson told the Texas Bar Blog.
So what was the result of the case? After deliberating for 35 minutes, Jackson said, the jury of elementary students found Snow White’s stepmother guilty of attempted murder.
Photograph courtesy of Douglas Jackson.