Ms. Geller’s Constitutional Law students eagerly staged a moot court April 26 – 28, 2021, simulating the Supreme Court hearing of a case on the first amendment and students' rights. The case was Mahanoy Area Schools District v B.L. A key question was whether the infamous Tinker case applies to off campus speech. A student (B.L) posted a snap chat story which was seen by over 200 fellow students.
Two teams of students researched, wrote and then presented their oral arguments: one team acting as the petitioner (the school) and the other team acting as the respondent (B.L). Several students also joined via Zoom.
Rebuttals ensued. Nine students, dressed in black robes, seated at the long table, acted as the justices; when arguments were completed, they asked questions and then met privately to discuss before rendering and writing their decision. The moot court took place in our High Tech Media Conference Center, a seminar-style classroom and a perfect setting for this activity.
This moot court was extremely current as the case was being argued on April 28, 2021 in front of the actual U.S. Supreme Court with a decision expected this summer.
Earlier, as part of their preparation, students took part in a live Q&A/webinar with Mary Beth Tinker, the plaintiff in the Tinker case, a 1969 landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that defined First Amendment rights of students in U.S. public schools.