Courtroom comes to the classroom in St. Petersburg

mock

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) — They’re bringing the courtroom to the classroom. Mock trials give teens a chance to sharpen their debate skills and critical thinking. But a mock trial at Gibbs High School is also teaching teens where to turn when dealing with bullies.

Seven dedicated students got to learn real life skills while prepping for today.

“It’s exciting because I want to be an attorney when I grow up and this is just a head start while I’m young,” said student Diamond Scrivens.

Mock trials are nothing new but today’s topic is something these students know all too well: cyber-bullying.

Diamond Scrivens is playing the part of attorney for the defense: her client, the accused bully.

St. Petersburg police coordinated the mock trial. The department using real-world problems like bullying to help students connect with the justice system.

“They can first and foremost understand that our mayor and our police chief really want us reaching out and interacting with kids in great situations like this one where we are learning together and interacting, and we want kids to run to the police and not away from the police,” said Sasha Lohn with Saint Pete Police Department.

And these students got the message that if they have a problem, there is some place to turn.

“My experience with law enforcement was they’re not bad at all, they’re actually good people and they’re helpful,” said Scrivens.

All while getting ready for what they call the biggest test of their lives, the SAT.

“The words that we’re using and the readings that we’re doing, it’s preparing us,” said Scrivens.

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