BY MAIJA SHEA
Mr. Newman and Mrs. Mooney’s grade 11 law classes made their way to downtown Toronto on Wednesday October 18th to visit the Superior Court of Justice. All of the students loaded themselves onto the GO train at the Milton station early in the morning; an inconvenience for commuters, but an efficient way to get into the city!
This courthouse is open to the public, meaning that anyone is allowed to enter and sit in for any trial they wish, unless stated otherwise. The only downside is the fact that most of the cases have been going on for a while with several other days of action, so it can be difficult to tell what is going on at the beginning of the session. Despite how boring and dry it could be sometimes, the grade 11s showed how mature they can really be when they sat in the strict courtroom of a murder trial and a few other serious cases. To tell the truth, it was obvious that their attention was authentic with the suspenseful, scintillating, and serious environment of the courtroom.
“It was quite a surreal experience sitting in those courtrooms and hearing these witnesses talk about very personal, and often shocking details of their cases right in front of your eyes,” said Farzaam Zafar from Mr.Newman’s class.
The students who attended one of the two the murder trials were actually a bit anxious to be sitting in that room. The accused would occasionally turn around and make facial expressions and gestures at the audience of teenagers – not something you want to see from a person who has allegedly killed someone! However, the other murder trial had a much more interesting story, and the case has been going on since 2013 because new evidence continues to arise. The details are graphic and disturbing, but the story can be found here. Only one day prior to Milton District’s visit to the courthouse, another school was visiting and the students were horrified as graphic images appeared on the screen for evidence in the exact same case. Maybe it’s better that our grade 11s missed out on that!
The day lightened up when the students could spend the remainder of the day at the famous Eaton Centre, the second largest mall in Ontario. Many headed straight for the food court after a long morning, and then hit their favorite stores. Luckily, there was plenty of time to cover all three floors if they wanted to. Every face was a smiling one; afterall, who wouldn’t want to go on a school trip to the mall?
Many thought this trip was going to be boring and simply an excuse to get out of class for the day. It was a pleasant surprise that it was both enjoyable and educational. The evidence? These two classes now have an understanding of how Canadian courtrooms work and had such a good time that they could be heard talking about the trials on the train ride home. Oh, and their shopping bags showed that they had a good time as well!
“Somehow, I think it gave us a bit of life experience whether you are pursuing a career in law, or if you were just there to see something new. It gave me more insight of how Canada’s judicial system works and a lot about our society,” said Graham Wentzell from Mrs.Mooney’s class.
The verdict? This trip was awesome. Case closed!