FSS students engaged in a mock trial at Williams Lake this year. Pictured: Niki Bell (witness), Andorra Wright (judge), Holly Kichler (jury), Cole Hutchinson (defence attorney), Connor Will (crown attorney). (Contributed by Erin Webber, FSS)

FSS students engaged in a mock trial at Williams Lake this year. Pictured: Niki Bell (witness), Andorra Wright (judge), Holly Kichler (jury), Cole Hutchinson (defence attorney), Connor Will (crown attorney). (Contributed by Erin Webber, FSS)

FSS grads get hands-on legal experience through mock trial

The challenges of 2020-2021 didn’t stop these students from some hands-on education about the legal system

Holly Kichler and Easton Fieldhouse

Fernie Secondary School

Our graduating year has been immeasurably different. Nothing has been in the least bit normal but, in a way, that has made it all the more special. As a graduating class we endured longer schedules and shorter quarters, new rules and long lines. We lost so many traditions; from prom and drive through, to the new and very different commencement ceremony. Nothing is remotely the same and we have had to reimagine these iconic moments we have been dreaming about for 6 years. Despite all this, we were determined to get the most out of our final year of high school and we think we managed it in the best way we could; as we’ve been saying all year, “take what you can get”! We recreated traditions and are making the most of the time we have left. With the support of our families, school, and community we couldn’t have hoped for a more memorable grad year!

This year in our Law 12 class we learned how the Canadian legal system influences our lives. We have been working to reimagine the way society and the legal system should interact to address contemporary issues our generation is faced with. Since we had to reinvent everything else about our grad year, we thought why not recreate the way we learn as well? We decided to bring all our class elements together in a hands-on, realistic mock criminal trial. Each student was assigned a role either judge, jury, court clerks, witnesses or lawyers and we went to work.

Our mock trial took place in Williams Lake, B.C., where the defendant (played by Trey Hobbs) has been charged with first-degree murder. His defence attorney, Cole Hutchinson, had the difficult task of trying to provide reasonable doubt that he was in fact sleepwalking while committing the murder. A series of witnesses were called to the stand by the Crown attorneys, Zachary Perrault and Connor Will. The court was in full swing all day, presided upon by Judge Andorra Wright, who then had the difficult task of delivering a sentencing after the jury members deliberated the case. Our class was 100 percent committed to making this trial as enjoyable and realistic as possible, dedicating all our remaining energy into one final event. We were exceptionally excited to put all of our planning into action and elated at our success!

As graduating high school students, we have found ways to make memories worth reminiscing about. We had restriction approved get-togethers with our friends and went out for ice cream, we blasted music and sang until our voices went hoarse. We attended three-hour classes with our favourite teachers and were able to spend time with our friends despite the distance. We know that we will treasure this year and it sure is one to remember. We proved that with hard work and perseverance, we can make anything happen!

Education