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Issue 1

Spring 2018

Partnering With Teachers to Bring Citizenship to Life

A Bold Experience Recommit to Your Role
By Ben Sandlin as Citizen in 2018
By John B. King, Jr.
The boy holds a pen in one hand. The pen means
more to him than anyone in the room could know. The following article was originally printed
in the Baltimore Sun on Dec. 30, 2017
It is partially a prop, partially a crutch to release
his nerves. In his other hand the boy holds a paper The end of one year and the start of another
with a speech to deliver written on it, “glance at it is an opportunity for renewal. Among
if you need to, but you won’t need to.” the aspects of American life most in need
of renewal is our commitment to civic
Seven years ago, that boy was me. I competed in OCLRE’s mock education and engagement. It is essential
trial at Reading High School, a public school about 15 minutes for building the political will to grapple
north of Cincinnati. The school district is small; about 100 students effectively with the complex challenges
in each graduating class and mock trial is well-known. we face — from getting the relationships
between police and communities right
OCLRE set me on a collision course for a life in law. After graduating to combating the opioid epidemic to
from Reading High School in 2012, I continued my mock trial navigating the consequences of climate
career at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. My teammates and change. Yet worrisome signs of inadequate
I would go on to finish in the top 10 nationally-ranked teams for civic education for our students abound.
three consecutive years, culminating in a second-place finish in 2016.
Currently, I am a “2L” at the University of Cincinnati College of The National Assessment of Educational
Law. I also proudly serve in many mock trial capacities: coach to the Progress, or the “Nation’s Report Card,”
Miami University Mock Trial program, reviewer of Reading HS recently showed that in 12th grade, only
mock trial team content as needed, and the Tournament Director one in five students demonstrated a
for The Mockhawk, a high school mock trial tournament hosted working knowledge of the Constitution,
by the James Lewis Family Miami University Mock Trial Program. the presidency, Congress, the courts and
Friends call me a “mock trial junkie.” I agree. //cont. P5 how laws are made. A 2016 survey of
American adults also found that about
one out of every three respondents could
not name a single branch of the United
States government. //cont. P2
In This Issue
We the People Alumni Spolight..........................3

Ohio Mock Trial Site Coordinator Spotlight.......4


Stay Calm, It’s Only Jury Duty.............................6

We Need You!.......................................................7
Recommit (cont. from P1)

Getting civic education right requires research. From building affordable only deepened his resolve. When he
attending to three critical things: housing to helping immigrants learn returned home, he also experienced
students’ foundational knowledge, English, students developed a deeper discrimination and wasn’t able to
their skills and their inclination for understanding of community issues find work in the field in which he
civic action. and took meaningful action to help was trained. But he didn’t retreat
their neighbors. They also developed into resentment. He became a
Students need to know the legislative a commitment to service, one I hope firefighter — choosing again to risk
process and the key themes and is life long. his life for his fellow citizens. He
events of both American and global returned to military service in the
history. They need to be familiar Civic education also happens at U.S. Air Force, rose to a position
with primary sources that have home. My wife and I try to use at the Pentagon, and later took on
shaped our nation — including every day opportunities to help our a series of public-service-oriented
the Declaration of Independence, two daughters — now 11 and 14 — roles, always believing that America
Constitution, Gettysburg Address, develop into engaged, active citizens. could become, in the words of the
Lincoln’s second inaugural address We loved reading “The Lions of Little Preamble to the Constitution, “a
and the Supreme Court decision in Rock,” a beautiful young adult novel more perfect union.” My Uncle Hal’s
Brown v. Board of Education. And set in 1958 during intense conflict final resting place is at Arlington
they need to understand why these around school desegregation. The National Cemetery, but his values
texts remain relevant today. book created an opportunity to — including his unwavering
discuss with our children the history commitment to civic engagement —
Beyond knowledge, students need of the civil rights movement and live on in my family.
civic skills. They need to develop the meaning of equality under the
the ability to read analytically — law. Similarly, watching the movie I strongly believe that none of the
dissecting an author’s arguments “Lincoln” created an opportunity to public policy problems we face
and analyzing evidence for claims discuss the contradictions inherent in in our nation — from the federal
— whether they are reading Thomas the nation’s founding, the Civil War, government’s rollbacks of civil rights
Jefferson or a contemporary article the Reconstruction amendments enforcement to the need to increase
about health care reform. They need and America’s perpetual struggle to access to quality preschool — can
to be able to make sense of statistics, expand equal rights. Other powerful be solved without an informed
write persuasive letters to the editor tools for our family’s civic learning and engaged citizenry. So, in 2018,
or a member of Congress, effectively include visits to the National consider how you can recommit to
make the case for their ideas and Museum of African-American your vital role as citizen — whether
learn to speak in public. History and Culture; participation that is attending community meetings,
in last year’s Women’s March and serving in a homeless shelter, helping
Students also need opportunities the annual Martin Luther King Jr. register people to vote, volunteering
to do democracy — otherwise holiday, which we dedicate to a day at a school, or running for local
called “action civics” — by getting of service. office. You’ll become more enriched
involved in real issues and learning and, in the process, you’ll be making
through community service. But for our family the most our communities and our country
Years ago, I taught a high school powerful lesson in civic engagement stronger for years to come.
course called “The City Project.” is the example set by my uncle,
Students completed an internship Col. Haldane King. My uncle was John B. King Jr. is former U.S.
within a community organization a Tuskegee Airman, one of the first Secretary of Education in the Obama
and a research project based on a African-American pilots in the Administration and president and
community need. They conducted U.S. military in World War II. He CEO of The Education Trust. His
surveys, interviews or focus groups suffered innumerable indignities quarterly guest column will run
and then studied history, sociology because of his race, which could have every other Sunday through mid
and economics to make sense of diminished his faith in the promise January. His email is John.King@
2 what they learned through their America, but those experiences; Twitter: @JohnBKing.
We the People Alumni Spolight
By Sarah Badawi

When I walked into Mr. Al Bell taught government at
Al Bell’s AP (Advanced Findlay High School for most
Placement) U.S. History of his 36 years as a classroom
class at Findlay High School teacher. He remains an ardent
in 1991, I had never taken a supporter of the We the People
U.S. history or government (WTP) program and has
course. I’m not sure I even participated in 26 of the 31 state
knew that “civics” was championships. We might even
a subject. I had attended think of him as a “founding
American schools while father” of the program, as his
growing up overseas, but name appears in the very first
my social studies classes had WTP textbook as a reviewer.
always focused on world
history and geography. I His knowledge of and
couldn’t have asked for a dedication to democracy is
better introduction to a far reaching; he worked in
subject that, years later, I would teach at both the middle and high school conjunction with U.S. State
levels. Later, it led me to help other educators teach. Department and the Center
for Civic Education to help
Under the tireless coaching and mentorship that Mr. Bell provided, the develop democracies in
We the People program challenged me to understand government as countries like Pakistan, Sri
something wrought by people over millennia that requires citizens to be Lanka and Nepal.
knowledgeable and vigilant if it is to be truly democratic and inclusive.
Al is best known, however,
I learned that, whatever we think about either the origins or the current for his impact on students, as
incarnation of U.S. political institutions, or however we choose to engage seen through the eyes of Sarah
with them or even rail against them, we have to know: where they came Badawi. He has inspired and
from, why they were established, by and for whom they were created, and educated countless individuals
how they function. to get involved and make a
difference. Today many of
And it is precisely this knowledge that made me so eager—in the current, his former students can be
polarized climate in this country—to pursue my current position at the found working in county
Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). Asked by my interviewers court systems, the Ohio
about my interest in and experience with civic education, as well as my Attorney General’s office,
understanding about the impact that different educational experiences can U.S. Justice Department, and
have on students, I cited my high school days. the Constitutional Rights
Foundation. We tip our hats to
For that, I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Bell and the We the People program. you, Al Bell!

Law and Citizenship Conference • September 17, 2018
Details to follow soon!
Ohio Mock Trial Site Coordinator Spotlight
Across the state each year, from September to March, thousands of students are preparing for Ohio Mock Trial, a
program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE). Behind the scenes, 24 district and 13 regional sites
are preparing for the onslaught that is competition day.

But who are these unsung heroes and heroines who manage to execute and facilitate such a massive, state-wide undertaking?

OCLRE actively partners with more than 30 district and regional coordinators across Ohio. They represent organizations,
court jurisdictions and even private businesses who are committed to continuing the legacy of Ohio Mock Trial.

Each site coordinator works to secure courtroom space, recruit judges and competition volunteers, organize paperwork,
train volunteer judges and report results to OCLRE staff within 72 hours of the competition.

Meet a few pillars of the Mock Trial program!

Jessica Paine Magistrate Faye Cox Chris Albrektson
Cuyahoga County Randall Jedlink Union County Assistant Executive Director
Site Coordinator Washington County Site Coordinator Lawyer Referral Service
Northeast Ohio Site Coordinator Central Ohio Dayton Bar Association
Southeast Ohio Southwest Ohio

I’ve worked with the Mock I have been involved with Mock Trial encourages strategic The most rewarding part of
Trial as a volunteer since my Mock Trial for six or seven thinking, sportsmanship and being a coordinator is watching
first year with the Cleveland years. First as a judge, and the theatrics, all of which were the students come in and
Metropolitan Bar Association last three years as a district interests to me as a youth. I love participate in the competitions;
(CMBA) right out of law school and regional competition seeing the creative positions they are so prepared and
in 2005. In the following years, coordinator. that the students take when excited. Several years ago, when
I assisted my predecessor, Mary presenting the case and how team points were announced
Groth. It’s thanks to her that The most rewarding part they deal with adversity. at the awards ceremony, a
I learned to keep meticulous of Mock Trial is to see how group of kids left in tears. They
records and live by my to-do excited the participants are on I think that students and had done extremely well but
lists, the only thing that kept competition day. It is nice to advisors know that it is a bit lost by a point or two; it was
my head above water during see kids working so hard and of a logistical puzzle to put heartbreaking to watch those
mock trial season! so interested in something like together the competitions, kids leave. At that moment,
this. The most memorable and it takes time away from it hit me just how much work
I enjoy seeing the students instance occurred when the attorney and judges busy and dedication these kids put
perform at their best, and one school had a freshman/ calendars. I don’t think though, into this competition. The next
I often say that I work sophomore team and a junior/ that anyone realizes how much year I asked our bar president
with the best people in the senior team. Both teams the judges enjoy being part of to mention to the students
community – volunteers. While were closely named after the competition. I get judges that in every court case there
many students and advisors Harry Potter characters, and coming up to me regularly is a winning and a losing side,
appreciate the scope of the when the then-coordinator asking if they can judge again and just because you lose a case
challenge of organizing such a announced the winners of the the next year. doesn’t mean you didn’t try.
massive event each year, I’m competition, he confused the That has become a staple in
not sure they fully understand two teams and announced the talks every year during the
how much happens behind the it incorrectly. The younger award ceremony.
scenes thanks to a few amazing team was elated and the
people. We couldn’t host events older team in shock. Of
of such size without the help of course, this was quickly
my incredible colleagues at the fixed, but once I became
CMBA, along with volunteers coordinator, it served as a
who serve on the judicial vivid reminder of just how
panels as well as those at the impactful the program is to
courthouses who welcome us kids and to triple check the
into their space. score sheets!
Bold Experience (cont. from P1)

Every student who participates in and they are fortunate the OCLRE As I transition from mock trial to real
OCLRE’s programs becomes bold offers this experience. trial, I, like OCLRE, focus my time on
enough to embark on an educational students. When I return to Reading, I
experience unlike any other in middle OCLRE programs favor more than walk with my previous coach, Andy
or high school. The OCLRE also those students who will go on to be Janig, to the same room where he
emboldens young people to relish the lawyers; any student can benefit. In told me I would have a future in law.
fortune that follows their high school any career, there are central tenets When I welcome schools from across
experience. to success: team-work, cooperation, Ohio to Oxford for The Mockhawk,
understanding a common goal, I see myself in each seat around the
At the end of a mock trial round, communication, confidence, verve room. When I hear of each of my
judges give comments and critiques and passion for success. Using the teammates’ success stories, I swell
to the advocates and witnesses. OCLRE’s programs as a springboard with a sense of joy because I have
Commonly, at least one judge inquires to these tenets, I have personally seen been part of their lives.
about the students’ aspirations: “Who students transform into accomplished
here wants to go to law school?” The financiers, entrepeneurs, doctors,
students are no longer shy about their police officers, and more. Indeed, “Audentes Fortuna Iuvat.”
goals but instead are bold. Hands the skills the OCLRE teaches are “Fortune favors the bold.”
shoot up quickly. Students are excited, convertible to any career’s currency. Latin proverb

Congratulations to our 2018 Ohio Mock Trial State Champion,
Sylvania Southview High School, and runner up, Springfield High School!
GREAT JOB to all teams that participated this year!

Thank You, Donors!
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is grateful to the following individuals and organizations
for their kind and generous support of our mission to partner with teachers to bring citizenship to life.
Donations listed are from fiscal year 2017. Often, donors recognize teachers or students who have made
a tremendous impact.

Sponsors $1000 or more $100 - $199 $25 - $99
Supreme Court of Ohio Anonymous Christine Ardley Laura Jurcevich
Attorney General of Ohio & Douglas Buchanan Georgia Lang
Ohio State Bar Association $500 - $999 Steven Dauterman
American Civil Liberties Richard A. Dove Thomas Friedman In-Kind Contributions
Union of Ohio Foundation Lisa Eschleman Tim Kalgreen Columbus State Community
Marion Smithberger John Leavitt, in honor of College
Charitable Funders Damon & Kate Strickland Lisa & Steve Eschleman John Carroll University
Ohio State Bar Foundation Steve Reger, in honor of Ohio Attorney General
$300 - $499 Ohio Channel
AmazonSmile Foundation Danny Strunk
Daniel Hilson Ohio State Bar Association
Center for Civic Education Daniel Strunk, in honor of
John Quinn Supreme Court of Ohio
James Madison Legacy Project Steve Reger
Hubert A. & $200 - $299 Chuck Reynolds
Gladys C. Estabrook Ohio State Bar Association Staff Dave Prem
Charitable Trust
Staples Foundation For more information on how your gift will support OCLRE programs, go to the
TechSoup OCLRE website, Involvement tab and then the Donate tab.

Be Our Guest!
Stay Calm, It’s Only Jury Duty Attend a culminating event to see
By Lisa Ray, Program Assistant what all the excitement is about.
Just call the coordinator for details.
You walk out to your mailbox and find importance of our role as jurors.
an envelope with a large red banner Further enforcing the importance, Middle School
saying “SUMMONS” on it. Only judges and elected officials spoke Mock Trial Showcase
April 6, 19, 20
two words really describe your very to our jury pool, and we toured Tim Kalgreen
first thought. “OH NO!” Closely the Supreme Court, Statehouse, (614) 485-3515 or
followed by “How do I get out of and the county jail. “I see it as the
this?” Of course, I am describing a court system hosting people while Moot Court Competition
summons requiring your appearance on duty”, Shields explained. Over May 4
for jury duty. Your calendar, and that the years, there have been people- Ryan Suskey
of your family and business, must be pleasing improvements such as free (614) 485-3506 or
rearranged to fit this new two-week, parking and a reporting time as late
in-person demand. as 10:30 a.m. Other conveniences Middle School We the
in the assembly room include WiFi, People State Showcase
May 17
I fulfilled my civic duty this past refrigerator, computers with internet, Tim Kalgreen
October and was pleasantly surprised free coffee/tea and a vast movie (614) 485-3515 or
by the experience. Franklin County library to choose from while awaiting
Municipal Court (FCMC) Jury possible selection.
Commissioner Tom Shields and
Deputy Commissioner Lori Shannon, As a proud OCLRE staff member,
have made the process informative, this experience has reinforced my
convenient (within the allowable lifelong, civic-minded learning. If the
conditions) and yes, pleasant. opportunity to serve as a juror comes Professional
Shield’s passion for his work coupled your way, embrace it! You will learn, Development
with his consistent positive public grow, and meet new people, all the
relations effort, led to a revamped while doing something great for Groups of five or more teachers with
at least one OCLRE member can
juror experience. The toughest part democracy!
book a custom PD free at the location
of any commissioner’s job is getting of your choosing. PD can be based on
people to show up for service. Simply any one of OCLRE’s seven student
stated, Shields understands the centered programs, or on topics in
basic premise that if jurors civic education such as:
are unhappy, then a bad
reputation will continually • Discussing Controversy in
precede the jury process. the Classroom
“I want jurors to leave • Incorporating Primary
as advocates,” Shields Source Documents
• Inquiry Based Teaching
said. He must be doing
something right; the Contact with
national failure to questions, or to schedule a PD!
appear rate is 15%
while FCMC’s is 1.9%.

Throughout the number
of days spent with my
new-found, “we’re-in-this-
together” team of friends,
Shields educated us with statistics
and facts that supported the
As a 501 (c)(3) organization, your gift to OCLRE is tax deductible. The generosity of OCLRE supporters allows us
to continue our regular programming and supports quality professional development for hundreds of teachers. With
continued support, we can defray costs for school with limited resources and provide teachers with necessary materials to
implement programs in the classroom. We ask for your commitment not just as a consumer of services, but also as a partner
in the OCLRE mission.

Simply fill out the form below and mail with payment to: OCLRE, 1700 Lake Shore Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43204
OR go to

At OCLRE, our mission is “to improve society by developing citizens
empowered with an understanding of our democratic system.” Our core values
are quality service to educators, excellence in programming and motivating our
future leaders.

Donor Information (please print or type):


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Please make checks, corporate matches, or other gifts payable to OCLRE. 7
1700 Lake Shore Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43204
(p) 614.485.3510 • (f) 614.486.6221

Schedule of Events

MARCH 2018
8-10 High School Mock Trial State Competition

APRIL 2018
6, 19, 20 Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase

MAY 2018
4 High School Moot Court Competition
11 Middle School We The People
State Showcase
16 Youth For Justice/Project Citizen
Virtual Summit

JUNE 2018
1 James Madison Legacy Project
Spring Professional Development

17 Law & Citizenship Conference

Check for additional program dates.