Putnam County Students Get a Hands-On Government Lesson

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
The Putnam County High School senior class attended the 36th annual Law Day at the Hennepin courthouse this month.

The class was able to tour the courthouse, sheriff’s department and jail, as well as register to vote. The class also participated in a mock trial.

Former judge Scott Shore and attorney Roger Bolin have been organizing and participating in the event since the beginning.

The two talked to students about the day and the judicial system in general. Students also were introduced to all the office holders.

Shore discussed the importance of registering to vote, and urged each eligible student to do so in the county clerk’s office.

“If nothing else, at some point, you will be called upon to serve in one of the most important capacities any citizen can serve,” Shore said. “That is to vote. And vote you should.”

Putnam County Circuit Clerk Dan Kuhn said 19 students registered during the event.

The students then volunteered to play different roles in the mock trial and were helped by the bar association members to prepare.

The case, a civil lawsuit brought against the owner of a prom date match-making app by a girl who was paired up with her ex-boyfriend, was then argued and ruled on strictly by the students.

In the end, the jury found for the plaintiff, awarding her “$101,000” for expenses and pain and suffering.

“The kids are unique. You never know what they’re going to come up with,” Bolin said of the trial and the event. “One thing about this group, I thought they all came in here, and they were all very proper in appearance. It looked like they had a good time. I would compliment the students and the faculty members who were here today.”

One of the faculty members, social studies teacher Matt Gimbal, is also an alumnus of Putnam County. In fact, he sat on the jury during his law day.

“I think the kids did fantastic today. This is a good group of kids,” said Gimbal. “I do think it’s a good experience.”

Source: News Tribune