Ferdinand Magellan was tried in court by 5th grade girls for making people eat rats, among other crimes.
The eager students from Girls Prep Bronx Charter School stepped on a train in the Bronx, rode into Manhattan, and entered the courtroom of Federal Judge Sally Chapman to try their case. Divided into teams, students both prosecuted and defended the European explorer.
Judge Chapman told Mashable:
I don’t know anything about a lot of them individually, but sheerly by the demographic, they have a tough road ahead of them. They’re in the Bronx and they’re largely of color…there are so many hurdles.
The girls stood on boxes to reach the podium, acted as key witnesses, and presented closing arguments.
Why provide this experience? According to the Judge, the reason is simple:
I want them to grow up to feel they have potential, they can participate.
That’s a big YES PLEASE to empowering and experiential learning in schools.