Two of our 1st Judicial District Court Judges, Katherine C. Dorroh and Karelia R. Stewart, visited
Rusheon Middle school recently to educate students on the U.S. Constitution as part of the
Judges in the Classroom program.
Judges in the Classroom was started twenty years ago by Judge Benjamin Jones as an
outreach program with the goal of assisting teachers in educating students about government
and the court system. Judges visit schools to teach the lessons, or classes come to the
courthouse to see the judicial process in action.
As part of the program, students study the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of
Independence as well as the branches of government and how they interact. They also learn
about Louisiana’s Constitution and our state’s judicial system. Students can participate in mock
trials to get some hands-on experience in how the system works.
“It’s very interesting that children as young as 4th grade can understand most of these concepts
fairly well, and they can ask some very interesting and surprisingly deep questions,” said Judge
Jones about the program.
Judges Dorroh and Stewart coordinated with 7th grade teacher Jimmy Benton to present their
lesson on the U.S. Constitution with an emphasis on the Bill of Rights.
Chief Justice John Weimer feels like this program is incredibly important. In an email to all
Louisiana judges he stated, “I suggest that more time spent in classrooms, demystifing for
inquisitive young minds how cases are decided, might result in less time spent in the
courtrooms, to the benefit of all society.”
For more information about this program, you can contact the Louisiana Center for Law and
Civic Education at lalce.org.