Students head trial as part of lesson

Students in Jeremy Jacko’s American government class at Highland Adventist School in Elkins recently conducted a mock trial as part of their study of the American legal system.

Jacko assigned the students various roles in the trial along with providing the facts surrounding the alleged crime of cyberbullying. The students assigned to the defense team worked hard to prepare the defendant, their witnesses and their defense based on the facts they knew about the crime. The prosecution team did the same, spending countless hours in preparation, trying to anticipate questions from the defense and the direction the defense might take.

Jacko served as the judge for the trial, deciding on any objections voiced by the “attorneys” and making sure the trial proceeded fairly and properly. Students took the roles of attorneys, witnesses, jury members, a defendant and court bailiff.

After several class periods filled with witness accounts, cross examination, testimony and deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Whatever side of the legal battle the students were on, they celebrated the successful trial.

“I was amazed at how professional and prepared these students were,” said Cheryl Jacko, principal. “This trial helped every participant develop better understanding of our legal system. It was an outstanding learning experience for the entire class.”

More information about the school, which provides innovative Christian education for students in grades kindergarten through 12, is available by visiting the school’s website at or calling 304-636-4274.