Utah elementary students use fairy tale scenario to learn about judicial process

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 21:36:57-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah – A fairy tale came to life inside a court room for some third grade students.  It was part of a mock trial in Davis County.  Real life Judge, Thomas Kay oversaw mock proceedings handled by students from Endeavor Elementary.  The fairy tale characters Big Bad Wolf and Curly the Pig were in the hot seat with their attorneys arguing on their behalf.  It’s a role they’ve been preparing for for weeks.

“They've learned these skits and they come to court and this is kind of one of their big days,” said Thomas Kay, Second District Court Judge.

A jury of their peers weighed all the evidence to determine if the pig was guilty of trying to cook the wolf.

“There's enough evidence on both sides so it's a really difficult decision,” said Jeffrey Fattah, Communication Director for Utah State Courts.

The hands on training is part of student’s curriculum.  Judge Kay has invited students to his courtroom for the past 12 years.  The idea came about from his wife Kathryn who teaches at Endeavor Elementary.

“It's great because they can see judges are real people.  Here's how we do things.  And it's good for them to see it from someone who actually does it,” said Judge Kay.

After deliberations, an unexpected verdict.

“This year, the jury sided with the big bad wolf and the pig was found guilty,” said Fattah.

Even Curly Pig was caught off guard.

“I was surprised because I was guilty,” said Eliza True, who played Curly Pig.

As for B.B Wolf’s response?

“It was cool,” said Brody, who played the Big Bad Wolf.

After the trial, the judge and bailiff answered student’s questions.

“You saw a lot of their questions had to do with juries.  How does a jury decide this?” said Judge Kay.

“I protect the judge and make sure he's safe in court,” said the bailiff.

A civics lesson that could possibly peak their interest.

“It might inspire them to know more about the law.  Maybe seek professions in the law down the road,” said Fattah.