This is a discussion on Brought my kids to court yesterday... within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; ...best dang anti-drug / anti-crime influence one could ask for! This is a bit long so I apologize but felt it was such a great ...
...best dang anti-drug / anti-crime influence one could ask for!
This is a bit long so I apologize but felt it was such a great story for those with kids or anyone else who's interested.
My two boys 8 & 10 are working on a portion of their Cub Scout requirements called the Citizenship pin. One of the items on the list of things to do is visit the local courthouse and talk with someone there. Pretty simple. We have a beautiful historic downtown courthouse at the center of the town square.
So the boys (in full Scout uniform) and I get inside and through the metal detectors . We start looking around a bit checking out the old building working our way upstairs.
We get to the 4th floor and a really nice elderly lady comes by and comments on how nice the boys look and how handsome in their uniforms. She asks if we would be interested in seeing a courtroom in session and one is starting up in a few minutes. So we enter the courtroom and sit in the back.
We are the only ones there save for a couple of attorneys who were chatting. The boys and I visit about the courtroom layout, etc. After a few minutes, the doors open and two Sheriff's deputies come in each with a respective BG in orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and leg shackles. I'm thinking, "this is going to be good". I look over and the boys eyes are riveted on the inmates. The BG’s are a husband and wife, straggled looking, tattooed every inch of flesh we can see, rotting teeth and generally as unsavory as you can get.
The two attorneys jump up and scurry off to meet with their respective clients (ahh, defense lawyers). A couple minutes later other court personnel begin to enter, court recorder, court clerk, the county prosecutor, and the bailiff. A few minutes pass and then the bailiff barks out the “all rise”, the judge enters and away we go!
I thought we’d sit there for a few minutes and then quietly leave. But the boys were enthralled. Both the BG’s were repeat ‘meth’ offenders and were there to enter pleas of guilty and take the state minimum rather than go to full trial. We watched the whole thing and stayed for one and half hours. The boys listened as the story was told about repeating bad mistakes, running with the wrong crowd, using drugs, carrying weapons illegally, etc. The husband (BG 1) got 4 ½ in the state pen and the boys just soaked it all in. During a brief break the county prosecutor got up and came back and chatted with the boys for about 15 minutes about the whole process, etc. At the end after the two BG’s were lead off the judge stayed in his bench and asked that the boys come forward and have a seat so he could chat with them. He sat and answered their questions and talked to them for about 15 minutes or so.
It was an awesome experience. The boys said it was pretty scary watching the whole thing but they learned a lot. We talked for most of the rest of the evening about it. I already talk to my kids regularly about drugs and crime, hanging around the wrong crowd, etc. I know the school and church do the same from time to time. But this experience left an enormous impression about the evils of drugs, crime, etc. I highly recommend this type of visit to anyone with kids.
Sorry again for the long post but felt it was worth sharing the experience!
The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?' 'No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.'
Great post...responsible parenthood still exists. Its great to hear that the judge and DA took time to talk to your kids. Sounds like an interesting visit and when I have kids, we'll probably do something similiar.
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Great post. Great idea too. Here in Seattle the courtrooms are usually pretty full. Maybe I'll take my daughter out to Monroe or someplace smaller.
That is a great post, thanks for sharing! It just solidified the fact that the best learning takes place outside the confines of the typical classroom. Outside, where you can see and breath real life, for good or bad.
Kudos to you! And, many thanks too.
"Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state." - Adolf Hitler
Great post, and a nice story. It says a lot about the judge and prosecutor that they took the time to talk with your boys.
I'm in court just about every morning, so I see a lot. I've never seen parents take their kids to an open court for a learning experiance... and its one heck of a learning experiance.
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Thanks for sharing... great story!
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No, apologies required. I am going to ask Bumper to make a sticky of this thread. I hope parents will be seeing this and using your idea for a very long time to come. Thanks for the post.
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Fantastic! Wish I'd thought of that when I was a leader in scouts (boy and girl)...
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Awesome, Simply Awesome! You know, you can talk to kids, and teachers can talk to kids... But that's all it is... TALK!
Your explanations about the perils of drug use are an abstract concept as far as they can relate. All they know is their parents are straight laced good guys who probably know nothing about fun stuff and excitement in life. Place that against constant peer pressure, the glorifying of criminal lifestyles on TV and movies day in and day out and the vile crap in todays music... the warnings from a parent or teacher often goes in one ear and out the other. After all, kids are struggling for acceptance from their friends and peers, not from their parents. (generally speaking)
These kids got to see real life. Got to watch people sent away to prison for 4 years! Walked in with cuffs and shackles in jail garb and heard their pathetic stories live & up close and that made an impression!
Bravo! Kudos for you.... and talk about the luck of the draw!
Their first time in a court room and they got to see what drugs do up close.... It could have just as easily been people in there for speeding tickets and other mundane stuff.
You really got lucky and the kids got a lasting view of what life can be with the wrong choices!
(Next stop; a field trip to the county morgue on a Sunday morning after a weekend of shoot 'em ups and gang bangers on the loose for a viewing of the final act)
just kidding... that maybe a trip better saved for their eagle scout merit badges.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
That is absolutely awesome. What a great real life experience for your boys. I'm really impressed with the amount of time the judge and the prosecutor spent with your kiddos. Kudos to you!!!
"Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon
"Life experience" - well that's as close as they want to get and hopefully it will have been educational as well as salutary.
Anyone who has seen a longish term meth-head close up should be able to see what a mess they are in .... and for sure the boys having extra time being chatted to was a huge bonus.
I can think of a few kids I have come across for whom that excercize could have been more than a little useful. Great post.
Chris - P95
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