Hate Crime Task Force
Lawyers with the Colorado Lawyers Committee/Hate Crime Task Force led a mock trial for Miss Kasprzyk’s English 1 classes. Students were broken into six separate juries, and after the trial, lawyers helped students decide whether or not the accused was guilty on four separate counts of alleged hate crimes. The visit was in conjunction with the students’ study of To Kill a Mockingbird.
“I love teaching this novel for many reasons, and one thing I always stress is the privilege and right we have as Americans to serve on a jury.” Miss Kasprzyk said. “This interactive experience allowed members of the legal community to share their passion for civic responsibility with young adults in an authentic way.”
The experience brought the novel to life by helping students understand just how damaging hate crimes can be, as well as the challenges jurors face during the deliberation process.
Aaron Worland, a student participant in this mock trial, said, “I know how important jury duty is to Miss K, and I understood how important it is to the Denver judge who wrote ‘The Importance of Jury Duty’, but being in that jury...that’s when I realized how seriously a juror must take this responsibility.”