Abbie had a particularly cool experience today, she and her ALPHA group (a gifted program at the school) participated in a mock trial today. They all were able to go to the Superior Court Building of Whitfield County and hold the trial, along with 16 other ALPHA groups- complete with a “real” superior court Judge and local attorneys helping out. Today was all about Hansel, Gretel and the mean old lady with the gingerbread house… Accusations are flying, that the children destroyed her property and assaulted her by pushing her into the oven!! That they stole from her…. What will happen…..will justice prevail? Will Hansel and Gretel go to JAIL? Or will it be probation?
Charge: Petty Theft Verdict: NOT GUILTY
Charge: Criminal Damage to Property Verdict: NOT GUILTY
Charge: Battery Verdict: HUNG JURY – NO VERDICT
SHE’S BEEN VINDICATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is the article in the paper, while Abbie’s name does not appear, she was Gretel in trial representing her school Cohutta Elementary.
Justice for Hansel and Gretel?
By Rachel Brown
Megan Yarbrough was determined to prove Malvinia Crueller was after the children.
“I’m supposed to have seen Hansel and Gretel outside admiring my pies,” said Megan, a fifth-grade student from Brookwood Elementary School who took on the part of a local baker in a mock trial session between students at Whitfield and Dalton schools on Thursday. “I’m a witness. This is completely new to me.”
The Mock Trial Bowl at the Whitfield County Courthouse continues today. Seventeen teams from the Whitfield County and Dalton city school systems have or will participate in the case of the State of Georgia vs. Hansel Schmidt and Gretel Schmidt. Most of the students are fifth-graders in the gifted program, but a few are in the fourth grade.
Hansel and Gretel are accused of stealing pieces of cookies and candies from Crueller’s gingerbread shop, breaking up her gingerbread houses and trying to shove her into a hot oven. The defendants say they were acting in self-defense when Crueller ran after them, hoping they would be her next meal.
“They (students) are here today to learn about how citizens’ rights are protected under the Constitution,” said Eva Hendrix, a teacher at Cohutta Elementary School who coordinates the noncompetitive program. “We are not about winning or losing. We’re about justice for Hansel Schmidt and Gretel Schmidt.”
Tammy Poplin, a teacher at Dalton’s C3 Center, said mock trials are part of the program for gifted students. Whitfield students held trials for the first time last year, and this year Dalton schools were invited to participate.
“The kids have been so into this,” Poplin said, adding the students have been practicing since January.
Many children came to court on Thursday dressed for their parts. Young boys assigned to be attorneys dressed in ties and pinstripe suits, girls supposed to be bakers wore aprons and chef hats, and others who were called as witnesses donned dressy courtroom attire.
Cassandra Brown, a fifth-grader at Westside Elementary School, put on a pointed witch’s hat and a black, star-studded cape for her part as Crueller. While Cassandra had practiced the part with her classmates, she said she was still somewhat nervous.
“I think (the hardest thing) is just going to be getting up in front of all the people because I’m shy,” she said.
One of her classmates, Clippar Smith, was an attorney prosecuting Hansel and Gretel. He said he learned about how closing and opening statements are given by the prosecution and defense.
“It teaches us what kinds of jobs lawyers have, and if we want to be one when we grow up all we have to do is pay attention to what goes on,” he said.
Dalton attorney Rick Brown and Superior Court Judge William T. Boyett were among those helping with the program, in addition to a few local lawyers and several teachers. Parents and grandparents were allowed to sit in as jury members.