H.S. students in court for all the right reasons - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

H.S. students in court for all the right reasons

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Students from Bellows Free Academy have been preparing for a case that questions the balance between the fourth amendment and national security.

"We are here today to prove that the ex-NSA member, Edward Snowden, has broken the laws, betrayed the United States and should be prosecuted for his crimes," said Anna Marie Welch, a BFA junior.

The moot court focused on how the law is applied when considering a set of assumptions based on evidence. Local attorneys volunteered to take on the role of justices as students presented their positions. It's all part of the "We The People" class, where students work to build their understanding of the law -- and their confidence.

"Our job as teachers is just to get all kinds of these ideas out on the table about very complex issues and have the kids sift through that and kind of create their own narrative of these events," said class instructor Dave Rider.

Students took turns in teams before the court with hopes of persuading the justices. "The judges were like -- intense, so I would say it was pretty much what I would think it was," Welch said.

After all sides shared their arguments, it was time for deliberation. But instead of a verdict, it was feedback on how the students performed. "We understand the challenges that each one of you as a student was facing here today. We want to compliment you on all the effort that you've made because it's the effort that's important," said Superior Court Judge Greg Rainville.

No matter what side they represented, all of the students took something away from their day in court. "Just gotta be confident -- just say what you want to say. Don't look back and regret what you want to say, you just gotta say it," said Logan Mapes, a BFA sophomore.

And Monday, students said enough to impress the justices,  and form their own opinions about how the law works here in the U.S.

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