Animated Website Teaches Youth about the Judicial Branch

Article excerpt

The Judicial Council of California, die Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation have launched a unique website focused on educating California middle and high school students about the judicial branch of government and the courts. The Judges, Courts and die Law Project is a multi-faceted interactive web-based resource designed to help youth better understand the role of the judicial branch in our democracy. The site is about how courts interpret law and the role of courts in protecting our rights to free speech, privacy, and much more.

Students can access the website on their own or with a parent or teacher. A prominently featured component of the site is "Courts in the Classroom," which provides a lively introduction to key legal principles. There are four major components to "Courts in the Classroom," all of which are designed around animated cartoon characters that demonstrate major tenets of the judiciary system and how the courts interpret key issues that are critical to today's youth, such as wearing message driven t-shirts to school or having a backpack searched.

The Big Ideas: Deals with issues such as privacy, free expression, symbolic speech, censorship, courts, due process, laws, checks and balances - everything from the issue of graffiti to the publication of a student newspaper to the definition of the various types of courts. …