NASHVILLE – More than 600 high school students from Rutherford and Cannon counties will hear oral arguments in three Tennessee Supreme Court cases on Friday, February 12, as part of a program designed to educate young Tennesseans about the judicial branch of government.
Students and their teachers from 13 schools, along with home-schooled students, will attend a special Supreme Court session at the historic Rutherford County Courthouse in Murfreesboro where justices will hear oral arguments in three actual cases. Following oral arguments, students will meet for question-and-answer sessions with the attorneys who presented each side in their cases.
Participating students and teachers also will join the Supreme Court for lunch at the First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. During lunch and a brief program, students will be seated at tables with the Supreme Court justices, local judges and attorneys, and city, county and school officials.
Schools participating in SCALES - an acronym for Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students – are Bellwood Christian Academy, Blackman High School, Cannon County High School, Eagleville School, Franklin Road Christian School, Holloway High School, Lancaster Christian Academy, LaVergne High School, Middle Tennessee Christian School, Oakland High School, Riverdale High School, Siegel High School, and Smyrna High School.
To prepare for Friday’s oral arguments, local judges and attorneys met with teachers to review the cases and the issues that will be considered by the Supreme Court. Teachers also received notebooks of materials and suggested activities to use in teaching the students about the justice system. After the Supreme Court rules in the three cases, copies of the opinions will be provided to the classes and posted on the court system website at www.tncourts.gov.
“The Tennessee Supreme Court believes that educating young people about the judicial branch is paramount to creating productive citizens,” said Chief Justice Janice Holder. “The SCALES project is a great opportunity for high school students to get a first-hand look at the Court in action, while also developing a better understanding of how the system works.”
More than 20,000 Tennessee students from more than 400 high schools have participated in the SCALES project since its creation in 1995.