Students in instructor Layton Hickel’s American Government participate in mock trial


Emily George

Students listen as each side of the case is presented. Each student got assigned a different role in the mock trial. The mock trials took place in instructor Layton Hickel's American History class last week.

Isabelle Braun

Seniors in instructor Layton Hickel’s American Government class participated in a mock trial last week.

“We did a mock trial when I was in college in one of my political science classes,” Hickel said. “I got a lot out of it so I figured our kids would too, once we got into the judicial system.”

For the mock trial, Hickel chose the case Florida vs. Jardines.

“The state of Florida got an anonymous online tip that this man was growing weed in his house,” senior Hannah Harman said. “Because they didn’t have a reason or probable cause to search this guy’s house, they illegally brought a drug dog to the house and used this to search his house and therefore found the weed.”

“It was a random case I found online,” Hickel said. “I thought it was a good one. It had some previous cases that tied into it so there’d be resources for kids to use.”

Students played different roles during the trial. Senior Sydney Winter was part of the crowd and research.

“I enjoyed this role because I got to help research the trial and bring up some good points to give to our lawyer so he could bring them up to the judges,” Winter said.

Hickel believes students better understood the court system after this activity.

“I think our students got a better understanding of how the Supreme Court works and how actual trials work and the prep behind those cases, along with a better understanding of court cases and how they impact other cases moving forward,” Hickel said.