Indian Hill High School v. Sylvania Southview High School
For the second straight year, Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati won the High School Mock Trial State Championship. Indian Hill will move on to the national championship tournament this spring in Philadelphia attempting to become the first Ohio team to win the national title.
This year's case (Alex Leslie v. Erehwon Local School District) analyzes the proper limitations upon students' First Amendment rights in the digital world. Fictional high school student Alex Leslie - who enrolled in an advanced placement history class - was suspended for violating a school disciplinary code after posting comments on a blog critical of the teacher. The student sued, alleging the school impermissibly abridged off-campus speech.
The Ohio Mock Trial Program, established by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) in 1983, is a statewide educational program designed to allow students to become aware of their constitutional rights and responsibilities. It provides students the opportunity to learn first hand about the law, court procedures and the judicial system while also building interpretation, critical thinking and public speaking skills. Students who compete in the Mock Trial program come away with a greater understanding of not only the principals our legal system is founded on but of themselves and the skills they possess.
Each year volunteer attorneys write a legally authentic case involving a constitutional issue that is relevant to students' own personal experiences. Training is offered to teachers to help them use the constitutional case materials in their classrooms and give instruction in methods of preparing students to present mock trials. Teachers have the option of entering a team of 5 - 11 students in an annual statewide academic competition coordinated by OCLRE.