Petrocco Takes Kids to Court

Aly Fosbury, Staff Writer

The Law and Society class visited the Supreme Court in San Francisco, accompanied by course instructor Dino Petrocco and social studies teacher Paul Verbanzsky, on March 4.

Traveling by BART, the class visited the Supreme Court to hear an argument and also visited two of the Supreme Court Justices’ chambers. The class was out from 7:30am to 2:00pm.

“The unit we are currently studying is the first amendment and the case that we heard was a free speech, free press privacy case,” Petrocco said.

During the field trip, students had to take notes  and write their decision about the case after hearing all of the arguments.

“The opportunity to visit the highest Pelicourt in our state is a pretty cool opportunity,” Petrocco said. “I hope that they see that they live in a society that has a functioning judicial system, which I think a lot of countries would like to have.”

One of the objectives of the trip was to learn more about the role of lawyers in the justice system. “We have this perception that lawyers are in court rooms and they are yelling and arguing, but really very few of them ever get to see the inside of a court room, let alone be asked to argue a case in front of the highest court in our state,” Petrocco said.

Besides a better understanding of the court system, Petrocco hopes his students developed an appreciation of the court itself and all of its halls and court rooms.

“Being able to go and sit in the Supreme Court and have that cool experience was the best part,” sophomore Julia Durski said. “I think I got a more personal view of how the court system works.”

Students arrived at the Lafayette BART station 45 minutes before the start of the regular school day. “I had to go to BART at 7:15 in the morning, which is earlier than I have to get up for school,” Durski added.

In May, Law and Society will be going on another field trip to watch a criminal case argued in Alameda.