HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB) — It was a good old-fashioned civics lesson Friday in Hadley – right out of 1881 to be exact.
This morning, 65 students from Amherst and Hadley got a crash course in the county court system with a mock trial for Mae Tuck of Tuck Everlasting fame.
“She is so getting into the court system,” says proud parent Stephanie Smith. “Every night for the last couple of weeks she’s been writing down questions and how to answer them and I guess really preparing herself for it.”
“During the entire school year the children study all the concepts of the law and what it means to have a charge against you and the concept of innocent until proven guilty, all of our constitutional rights, so they’re very, very serious about it,” says Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court Justice James G. Collins.
The experience is nothing new. In fact, class teacher Peter Lamdin has been organizing the mock trial here at the court in Hadley for years.
Today’s mock trial marks his 23rd with the school district. Unfortunately for future students, it’s also his last mock trial before retirement.
“This is a beautiful year for them,” says Smith. “And it’s a shame he’s going to retire, but I’m sure it’s for the best.”
This morning, Lamdin received a roaring round of applause for his years of service. He also received an honorary judge’s robe for teaching so many students about the intricacies of the court system.
No word on who will be replacing Lamdin, but Judge Collins says he’s eager to keep the program going.