Middle School Mock Trial Enters a Whole New World
COLUMBUS (April 28, 2022) – On Friday, April 29, 2022, more than 100 middle school students from 14 schools across Ohio will take their places in front of the camera as they bring Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers to life. Students will take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses in the trial State of Arizona v Susanna Morales. This first day of the Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase will take place virtually. Another showcase will be hosted in-person at the Supreme Court of Ohio on Friday, May 20.
OCLRE middle school mock trials are crafted from literature commonly taught in middle school classrooms. This year’s case focuses on Judge Susanna Morales, who is on trial for kidnapping three siblings from Arizona. Judge Morales claims that this was an honest case of mistaken identity complicated by the fact the Judge Morales is from a different world than the allegedly kidnapped children. Alternate worlds and the existence of doppelgängers make this a unique case.
Teams from the following schools will participate in the April 29 showcase: Belpre Middle School (Washington County), Bethany School (Hamilton County), Chagrin Falls Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Columbus Gifted Academy (Franklin County), Garfield Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Harding Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Heritage Middle School (Delaware County), Jackson Memorial Middle School (Stark County), Menlo Park Academy (Cuyahoga County), Otsego Middle School (Wood County), Seton Catholic School (Summit County), Walnut Hills Middle School (Hamilton County), and Wheelersburg Middle School (Scioto County).
With help from their teachers and volunteer attorneys, students spend months learning about the legal system and preparing for trial while developing key reading, research, writing and public speaking skills. Each team participates in two trials, arguing both prosecution and defense positions against opposing teams. Attorneys and judges serve as showcase judges. Students earn points by demonstrating professional demeanor, oratory skills and an understanding of trial technique and courtroom procedure.
OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General, Ohio State Bar Association and American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. Middle School Mock Trial is funded in part by the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information on OCLRE, please call 877-485-3510 or visit www.oclre.org.