US Government and Advanced Placement US Government and Politics students from Cannon County High School recently participated in the SCALES Project sponsored by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The SCALES (Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students) Project is a Tennessee Supreme Court initiative designed to educate students about the judicial branch of government. Participating students had a unique opportunity to attend a Supreme Court session at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015.
The US Government Teacher at Cannon County High School, Mr. William F. Curtis, attended an in-service meeting with court officials in preparation for the Supreme Court Case. Students were provided with study material and classroom instruction in advance by assigned Volunteer Attorneys. The Volunteer Attorney assigned to CCHS was Rutherford County and Cannon County Public Defender - Mr. Gerald Melton. Mr. Melton aided the students so that they would understand the issues in the case that they would hear and how that case reached the Tennessee Supreme Court.
The CCHS US Government students arrived at Cumberland University at 9:30 AM. They heard the second case of the day, STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CORRIN KATHLEEN REYNOLDS. This case involved vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment and DUI charges. This was an interlocutory appeal so there had been no conviction at the trial court level and involved probable cause and implied consent as it related to the US Constitution's 4th Amendment.
Students observed the Tennessee Supreme Court Members - Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee, Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins, and Justice Holly M. Kirby. Currently there is a vacancy with the 5th Justice due to the recent retirement of Justice Gary R. Wade. Oral arguments and interaction with the Prosecution and Defense attorneys were the key focus of CCHS students. They also observed court procedures, protocol, and administrative processes during the court case.
Following oral arguments, the students met for a "debriefing" with the attorneys who argued the case. These attorneys were John Bledsoe of the Tennessee Attonrey General's Office representing the STATE of TENNESSEE and Jonathan Harwell representing the DEFENDENT - CORRIN KATHLEEN REYNOLDS. CCHS US Government students asked numerous questions regarding the case to these attorneys, and many of the students learned various information about the case.
After the debrief students walked to a large tent in the commons area of Cumberland University for lunch which was provided by Cumberland University. Just after lunch, presentations of commemorative certificates were made to each school by the Justices. State Representative Mark Pody also visited and talked with numerous students during and after lunch.
CCHS Students who attended this activity were: Rhiannon Barycz, Myranda Byford, Robyn Cook, Jaydon Coon, Kirsten Garrison, Joram Hardin, Sarah Hood, Travis Marlow, Hannah Nave, Sam Nokes, Leeann Scott, Sam Shaw, Caleb Sissom, Chris Smith, Chandler Todd, Livia Walker, Jacob Walkup, Malia Witty, David Johnson, Matthew Pemberton, Scott Edmondson, Autumn King, Trenton Seal, Lexi Hunting, Robert Edmondson, Cole Dailey, Katelyn Milligan, Eric Barrett, Tommy Davis, Reece Wisdom, Devin Gilpatrick, Zachary Melton, Gabriell Jones, Shelby Forst, Lema Youngblood, Alyssa Skoog, Faith Womack, Ethan Bryson, Chaley Hayes, and Addie Hale.
Accompanying the Cannon County US Government students were William F. Curtis, Teacher; Mrs. Marcia Melton, Cannon County Schools Supervisor of Instruction; Mr. Gerald Melton, Cannon County and Rutherford County Public Defender; and Mrs. Leliah Wooden, Bus Driver.
The US Government Classes of Cannon County High School would like to thank Director of Cannon County Schools, Mrs. Barbara Parker, and the Cannon County Board of Education for their assistance in transportation to the event.