By: Maddie Bradbury and Lauren Christie
Wethersfield High School recently held an appellate court , and I had the opportunity to attend. Going into the court case, I had a lot of questions and didn’t know what to expect because I have never been to anything like this before.
It was very serious; we had to go through a metal detector, and there were several police officers in the auditorium making sure everyone was attentive and appropriate. We sat quietly and engaged in our seats, while listening to the case unfold.
Holding the court case at the high school was a great opportunity to learn first hand about the judicial system. While listening to the lawyers present their sides, I was able to learn how to set up good arguments, which could be very useful for me in my later life. It fascinated me how much knowledge the judges had about not only the case at hand, but they also referenced dozens of cases from the past.
One of the cases involved a milk delivery man who slipped and fell while delivering the milk to the school. He slipped on the icy pathway that he claims should have been cleared off, and is trying to sue the town for his injuries. He lost the initial court case because the town had immunity, but due to his contractual obligation to be at the school, he appealed the case and was given the opportunity to present it at the appellate court.
My biggest question was how would I feel if this was one of the teachers at the school who fell and got hurt? I was curious if teachers would face a similar result in court, so I asked one of the men who helped organize the court, and he said “Unfortunately, the teachers are not obligated to be at school, so they would not be able to sue the school either. The only people allowed would be students, because by law they have to come to school.”
It was these questions that helped extend what we saw at the appellate court that made it so interesting, it was a chance for the “real world” judiciary system to come to a high school and give us all some authentic learning experiences. Thank you to the State of Connecticut and to Wethersfield High for bringing this experience.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.