Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu Asks You to Invite a Judge to Your Classroom
You may have heard that Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu gave an amazing speech to a large group of WEA members in April 2018. Her speech was uplifting, honored educators, and spoke about the role of courts and the law in protecting basic human rights. While WEA didn’t record or video her speech, we were able to retrieve the closed-captioning transcript of her speech so you can read it for yourself.
She also made one big ask: Invite a judge to your classroom. Here is what she said:
“I ask you to consider joining with judges in building a new way to see who we are in our local communities. I would like you to think about inviting a judge into your school to talk about civics, to talk about the rule of law, to come in and wear a robe and teach your students about this branch of government whose duty it is to protect the individual rights of everyone.”
WEA wants to make her request a reality and are working with the courts to make this easy for you to implement. While we work together with the courts to get more resources in place, we wanted to get some initial information out to educators so you could think about how you can make this a part of your classroom or school next year. Here is some initial information:
The Goal: Invite a judge to visit your school or classroom on Constitution Day – Sept. 17, 2018. If this date doesn’t work – choose another date.
Classroom Resources: Consider using the sample lesson plans that have been developed and are posted at www.courts.wa.gov/education.
In addition, check out the Civic Renewal Network. The Civic Renewal Network is a collaboration of national civic learning curricula writers who have pooled their lessons and resources. It's organized by topics, grade levels, standards, etc. and they are gearing a set of lessons for Constitution Day. See the Countdown on their website.
How to make the invitation: It’s easy – no cold call is necessary. Just complete the form at this link http://www.courts.wa.gov/education/?fa=education.judgpair – and they will work to find the judge.
Why is a discussion about the law a priority for your classroom now? We think Justice Yu’s words say it best:
“There indeed are certain rights that withstand the history of time.
Regardless of politics,
Regardless of politicians,
Regardless of individuals,
That there are certain principles and values
That we stand for in this country that not only have withstood the time of history,
But that will last into the future for our children and their children.
And the law is the great equalizer.”
— Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu
More information will be coming prior to the start of school next year!
The Judges In The Classroom/School Initiative is part of the Board for Judicial Administration’s Public Trust and Confidence Committee. Justice Yu is the chair of the Committee. Judge Brad Maxa and Commissioner Rick Leo are also members of the Committee and will chair this effort with Justice Yu’s active support. Margaret Fisher is the expert on civics education and she serves as Staff Coordinator for the Committee.