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Students Put Literary Character on Trial in Annual Mock Trial Showcase

News Release                                                 Contact: Kate Strickland

For Immediate Release:                               Executive Director, Ohio Center for Law-                                                                           Related Education

                         ; 614-485-3510



Students Put Literary Character on Trial in Annual Mock Trial Showcase


COLUMBUS (May 1, 2019) - More than 500 Ohio middle school students, representing 36 schools, will bring a classic piece of literature to life at the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) annual Middle School Mock Trial Showcase, May 2, 3 and 10 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. 


OCLRE middle school mock trials are crafted from literature commonly taught in middle school classrooms.  This year’s case is based on Mildred D. Taylor’s classic, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The book, and the case, open the door to important discussions about race and the criminal justice system. Set in Mississippi in 1933, TJ Avery is a black teenager on trial for murdering a white store owner. Students in the middle school mock trial program take on the roles of witnesses and attorneys to determine whether TJ is guilty, or if he is a convenient scapegoat for a town steeped in racism.  


With the help of teachers and attorneys, students learn about the legal system and develop reading, research, writing, and public speaking skills.  Students must consider both sides of the case, as they will argue both prosecution and defense before a panel of volunteer attorneys and judges who evaluate their performance.


Teams from the following schools will participate in the state showcase: All Saints School (Hamilton County), Bethany School (Hamilton County), Blendon Middle School (Franklin County), Chagrin Falls Intermediate School (Cuyahoga County), Chagrin Falls Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Columbus City Prep Schools for Girls (Franklin County), Columbus Gifted Academy (Franklin County), Cornerstone Academy (Franklin County), Coventry Middle School (Summit County), Danville High School (Knox County), Dominion Middle School (Franklin County), East Clinton Middle School (Clinton County), Edison Middle School (Franklin County), Garfield Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Genoa Middle School (Delaware County), Harding Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Hastings Middle School (Franklin County), Heath Middle School (Licking County), Heritage Middle School (Franklin County), Independence Middle School (Cuyahoga County), International Academy of Columbus (Franklin County), Jackson Local Schools (Stark County), Marlington Middle School (Stark County), Menlo Park Academy (Cuyahoga County), Otsego Junior High School (Wood County), Perrysburg Junior High School (Wood County), Ridgeview Middle School (Franklin County), Seton Catholic School (Summit County), Sherwood Middle School (Franklin County), St. Brendan School (Franklin County), Trellis Academy (Knox County), Village Academy (Delaware County), Walnut Hills Middle School (Hamilton County), Walnut Springs Middle School (Franklin County), Wheelersburg High School (Scioto County), Zane Trace Middle School (Ross County)


OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system.  OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation.  Middle School Mock Trial is funded in part by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.  For more information, please visit


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