Students from Thomas County Middle School’s eighth grade MERIT program recently participated with students from three other school systems across the state in the Bill of Rights Day Judicial Panel Discussion, hosted by The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts. The virtual discussion, held via Zoom, allowed students the opportunity to ask judges on the panel questions related to the Bill of Rights, the role of judges, and the career path to becoming a judge.
Students asked the judges tough questions about the relevance of the Bill of Rights to current events and the impact that COVID-19 has had on the court system. Students were challenged by the judges to keep asking the tough questions, to challenge themselves to become knowledgeable about the legal system and to be the catalyst for changes that may need to be made.
“The students did an amazing job representing our school, county, and district," said TCMS teacher Charla Floyd. "These students are our future, and they had an exciting opportunity today to interact with judicial leaders from across our state. I think they gained valuable insights into the justice system, the role of the Bill of Rights in all of our lives, and the important position, and heavy burden, that our judges have in society.”
December 15 was the 229th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Judges who participated were from all levels of the Georgia court system: probate, appellate, trial, civil, criminal, and even the Supreme Court of Georgia. Participating judges were Chief Judge Bagley, Superior Court for the Bell-Forsyth Judicial Circuit, Justice Bethel, Supreme Court of Georgia, Judge Davis, State-wide Business Court, Chief Judge Jackson, Superior Court for the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit, Chief Judge McClelland, Forsyth County State Court, Chief Judge McFadden, Court of Appeals of Georgia, Judge Mingledorff, Superior Court for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, Vice Chief Judge Brian Rickman, Court of Appeals of Georgia, Presiding Judge Willis, Forsyth County Juvenile Court, and Chief Judge Keli Wolk, Cobb County Probate Court.
The event was live-streamed and recorded. The archived event can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/JudicialCouncilofGeorgia.