Government in action: Southeast students engage with Nebraska Supreme Court Justices
Lincoln Southeast High School’s Business Law students took a trip to Nebraska’s highest court on Sept. 26.
The students visited the Nebraska Supreme Court with their teacher Stephani Olson, and experienced our state’s judicial system firsthand. They were able to listen to oral arguments and afterward ask justices about their careers. Southeast senior Lily was one of the students who directly interacted with the judges.
“I felt engaged the entire two or so hours we were there. The room where we watched had beautiful ceilings and architecture that enhanced the overall experience,” Lily said.
Lily’s fellow classmate, Ian, also had a special role during the visit. He served as the student bailiff and read the “Court Cry.” He said this was his first time inside of a courtroom.
“My favorite part was probably watching people present their case. I just think that’s fascinating- watching people argue in a more intellectual way,” said Ian, Southeast senior.
The Nebraska Supreme Court extended this invitation as part of an initiative to engage area high schools students in learning more about courts and government.
“I think young people in their formative high school years need to be exposed to as many ideas as possible in regard to government, and especially the judicial branch of government. I hope that a visit to the Nebraska Supreme Court is a great learning experience for students since it is a great learning experience for us on the Court,” Nebraska’s Chief Justice Michael G. Heavican said.
“Students need to experience life outside of the classroom. It is extremely beneficial for them to see what happens in real-world situations. Sometimes we forget that some students don't have the opportunity to view life outside of the classroom,” Southeast teacher Stephani Olson said
The court also wanted to boost students’ interest in law careers.
“I would think it would be hard because they can both make a really good argument, but it’s really hard to decide. I bet it’s really hard to be fair and it doesn’t seem like an easy job at all,” Ian said.
This visit came at the perfect time for these high school Business Law students. They recently finished learning about Constitutional law. They’re now discussing the courts and court system including trial procedures and appeals. The students said seeing the justices in action helped make connections back to the classroom.
“It helped me gain a better understanding of how things are actually carried out in our judicial system,” Lily said.
Check out some highlights from Southeast’s Nebraska Supreme Court visit below.
Published: October 3, 2022, Updated: October 3, 2022