Michigan Supreme Court is coming to EGR

UPDATE: You can watch a recorded live stream of the event above.

On April 24th, 2019 the Supreme Court of the state of Michigan will be coming to East Grand Rapids High School and hearing a case in the performing arts center. This is because our school was selected by the Court Community Connections Program. Founded in 2007, the Court Community Connections Program was designed to help High School students understand the appellate courts and Michigan’s judicial system.

The program selects two schools annually to hold a case hearing at. Kent County was asked to host the April 2019 event and Judge Chris Yates offered East Grand Rapids High School to host. The event will start at 8:00 in the morning and last for approximately three hours. After the hearing, there will be a debriefing session with the attorneys who argued the case.

To prepare for this event students will meet with local attorneys during their social studies classes one week prior to the event to discuss the case that will be heard. While the logistics of this preparation are still being worked out it is likely that students will be assigned to one of three different blocks during the school day in which they will hear a briefing of the case in the little auditorium from their assigned attorney.

The general school’s reaction to finding out that we have been selected for this event has been overwhelmingly positive. Matthew Stein ‘20 plans on attending this event and is excited for the learning experience he will get. “I’m going to the Supreme Court event because my interest in a job involves the court because I may want to become a lawyer in the future.” Stein is excited to go to this event with his peers and anticipates that this will be a learning experience that he carries with him in the future.

Long-time Government and United States History teacher Ms. Christine Mapes stated that she had never seen anything like this in her years of teaching.

“It shows how rare this opportunity is,” Mapes said about this event.

Mapes also said that one of the greatest benefits of attending this event would be having the ability to take what one has learned in the classroom and see it applied in the real world.

Principal Craig Weigel said that the administration was delighted to be selected and excited to be able to give the students this opportunity. Many see this as the most unique government-related opportunity since former President George W. Bush made a speech at East Grand Rapids High School in 2007, which most students and many faculty members were not here to experience.

Even for those not participating in this event, the school day will look different than a typical school day. There will be security present throughout the school and many of the entrances will be unavailable for security reasons. Because this event will have a high number in attendance, the senior parking lot will not be available for students but reserved for guests and staff members whose parking spots will be occupied by state government and security personnel.

Mr. Weigel recommends that students carpool in order to save parking space in the off-campus parking areas.

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