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Andersen 4th graders take to court for Law Day 2015

Andersen Elementary School fourth graders take part in the 36th Wing paralegal team’s Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial deliberation at the base courtroom May 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. This year, Law Day commemorated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Andersen Elementary School fourth graders take part in the 36th Wing paralegal team’s Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial deliberation at the base courtroom May 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. This year, Law Day commemorated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Airman 1st Class Alyssa Moreno, 36th Wing military justice paralegal, testifies to Andersen Elementary School fourth graders as Alice at the base courtroom May 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 36th Wing Paralegal team acted out an Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial for Law Day to explain to students the importance of the Magna Carta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Airman 1st Class Alyssa Moreno, 36th Wing military justice paralegal, testifies to Andersen Elementary School fourth graders as Alice at the base courtroom May 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 36th Wing Paralegal team acted out an Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial for Law Day to explain to students the importance of the Magna Carta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Capt. Natalie Cepak, 36th Wing officer in charge of civil law, discusses the mock trial’s deliberation with Andersen Elementary School fourth graders in the base courtroom May 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 36th Wing Paralegal team acted out an Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial for Law Day, May 1, to explain the importance of the Magna Carta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Capt. Natalie Cepak, 36th Wing officer in charge of civil law, discusses the mock trial’s deliberation with Andersen Elementary School fourth graders in the base courtroom May 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The 36th Wing Paralegal team acted out an Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial for Law Day, May 1, to explain the importance of the Magna Carta. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Andersen Elementary School's fourth grade students joined the 36th Wing paralegal team for an Alice in Wonderland-themed mock trial in recognition of Law Day, May 1, at the base courtroom. 

Law Day commemorated the anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta and its mandate that lawmakers themselves are not above the law. The mock trial had Alice brought to court by the Queen of Hearts and incorporated elements of the Magna Carta to show that the Queen of Hearts also had to follow laws.

"We had a really good turnout and a really good response from the kids," said Airman 1st Class Alyssa Moreno, 36th Wing military justice paralegal, who played Alice. "I wasn't expecting to get that much feedback from them. It went really well and it seems like they were interested in learning."

This is the first year the team opened its doors on Law Day to enable fourth grade classes to experience a trial proceeding.
Senior Airman Brittany Recob, 36th Wing civil law paralegal, who played the Knave of Hearts, coordinated the event by coming up with the idea for a mock trial and creating a script. She said that everyone was eager to volunteer to put a show on for the kids.

"We found out that we could try to do a mock trial about two weeks ago," Moreno said. "Senior Airman Recob immediately started working on the script (and) came up with the Alice in Wonderland idea."

The children said they had a lot of fun and learned a lot from the mock trial.

"It was really fun, especially because we got to say our own opinion," exclaimed one fourth grader. "I'm excited to get jury duty one day."

Another fourth grader was happy she understood the mock trial premise as opposed to studying a real world case.

"It was easier for me to understand because I've seen Alice in Wonderland before," she said.

Both Moreno and Recob said they believe that the mock trial for law day could become a new tradition for their office and the kids alike.

"It turned out 100 times better than we could have hoped for," Recob said. "I think it's really important for the kids to get involved and be exposed to law day so they understand where laws come from in the first place."

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