HHS law enforcement class brings the courtroom into the classroom

Mr. Rolando Izeta’s law enforcement students at Harlingen High School practiced what they learned through a mock trial.

The class spent several weeks studying and learning about the court systems.

“Those who played the attorneys learned a lot of legal vocabulary,” Harlingen High School junior Margaux Loya said.  “They actually briefly looked at all the cases that were mentioned in the objection. They were able to understand those things, how to properly cite cases, and legal terms like what it means to sustain, object, and what qualifies as hearsay and what doesn’t.”

In March, Izeta and his students invited district administrators and other staff to serve as the jury of their mock trial.

Students were assigned different roles to play such as district judge, attorney, court security, witness, and court reporter.

Following a script, they practiced the full procedures of a trial from beginning to end.

“I am proud of my students,” Izeta said. “We have kids who are involved in different things like athletics, HOSA, National Honor Society, but they all worked together in this mock trial, and they did a really great job.”

Authentic learning experiences such as this mock trial allow students to pursue their interests and possibly even discover their passions early on.

Loya, who played the role of the U.S. District Judge, hopes to pursue a career in law one day.

“I am hoping to become a constitutional lawyer or civil lawyer,” Loya said. “I want to clerk for the Supreme Court at first. I do really enjoy the law and find it is something extremely important. While our country has made a lot of progress with people’s rights, there is still a lot more to be made, and I would like to do my best to help.”