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Learning goes on trial in the Green Island Court House

Students pose behind the deskA “murder trial” in the Green Island courthouse on Thursday drew a high profile crowd for the sleepy community, but most importantly it taught a valuable lesson to eighth grade students.

Students in Matt Holden’s eighth grade English class staged the trial as part of a lesson in writing essays that are persuasive and informative. The trial weighed the guilt or innocence of Judson, portrayed by Ian Hope, in the shooting of an individual in his house.

With Mayor Ellen M. McNulty-Ryan and Town Justice Joseph A. Liotta watching, defense attorney Lee McCarthy waged a stellar defense as prosecutor Thomas Lever laid out the incriminating factors and Justice Aidan Rotko oversaw the proceedings. In the end, the jury found “Justin” guilty.

“It was great to get out and use our skills,” said Lever.

“It was fun and informative,” added McCarthy. “We haven’t been able to do things like this because of COVID, but this was fun.”

A student addresses the juryHolden – who is also drama club advisor - said the students wrote their essays on the matter prior to the trial and used them to stage the trial.

“I wanted them to know that school can be fun again, while at the same time being educational,” he said.

Assistant Superintendent Tiffany Dzembo said the lesson was just that.

“The students did a great job and you could tell they were having fun while learning and Matt did a wonderful job putting together the lesson,” she said.

cross examining the witness