Baird 8th Graders Tour US Court

160 Baird students got a powerful lesson on the Constitution and the Judicial System at the Robert E. Coyle United States Courthouse on 10/27.  Chief US District Judge O’Neill challenged students to apply the Bill of Rights to their lives through fun simulations and deep dialogue.  Students were excited to respond to questions about civil rights and the rule of law.

Students admired the view of Fresno, as they went to a 7th floor courtroom, where they went through the Jury selection process with US Magistrate Judge Austin.  They experienced being called for questions for potential jurors in a simulated case, in which a mailman was injured by a dog, as he tried to deliver mail to Baird Middle School. 

These students got to meet two judges and see what they do to defend the Constitution and our rights as citizens.  They learned the importance of understanding the Constitution and how the government works.  They also learned of the vital role of citizens serving on a jury.

Baird Middle School is one of 3 schools in the Middle School Democracy Program in Fresno County.  The goal is to guide students to learn democratic principles, American values and the skills to analyze and create solutions for complex problems in their community, in preparation to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.  160 Baird students in 5 US History classes will choose a community problem and implement a Civic Service project to help solve it.    

The Middle School Democracy Program is organized by the Fresno County Civic Learning Partnership, including local business, legal, government and community leaders and educational agencies (Fresno County Office of Education, Fresno Unified School District and Fresno State University). The purpose is to encourage K-12 schools to implement best practices in civic education and support schools to prepare all students to be career-ready, responsible, engaged citizens.

For more information, see or email [email protected].