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Benton students get their day in court

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udge Parker Self of the 26th Judicial District Court hosted the Benton Middle School eighth grade students on Law Day. He held a mock trial, giving each student a specific duty or job to perform.

Benton Middle School takes part in Law Day May 1

Students from Benton Middle School had their day in court last week.

Judge Parker Self of the 26th Judicial District Court hosted the eighth grade students on Law Day, May 1, at the courthouse in Benton. The select group of students consisted of Semi-Finalists for the Student of the Year at Benton Middle.

Judge Self held a mock trial, giving each student a specific duty or job to perform. Not only was it informational, but it was interactive and fun.

“As a judge, I see our citizens come through the system, and oftentimes it is my job to resolve conflicts and to enforce the rule of law,” Self said. “It is a pleasure for me to experience a side of my job where I have the privilege of discussing with bright young people the different parts of the judicial system and allowing them to experience firsthand the significance of the roles each individual plays in the courtroom.”

Students also heard from elected officials, including Sheriff Julian Whittington, Cindy Johnston, Janet Burks and Bill Altimus, who spoke to the group about local government and its role in the community and state.

Law Day is an annual event, which was originally conceived in 1957 when American Bar Association President Charles Rhynes envisioned a special national day to mark our commitment to the rule of law.

The following year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first Law Day.  Law Day was made official in 1961 when Congress issued a joint resolution designating May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day.