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Judges in the Classroom/Students in the Courtroom Looks toward 2023

by Minden Press-Herald

At the close of the laborious, yet rewarding year of 2022, we looked with optimism to the new experiences awaiting us in 2023. The Judges in the Classroom/Students in the Courtroom program has expanded its outreach by leaps and bounds. Through Louisiana Center for Law and Civics Education Executive Director Peggy Cotogno’s coordination, judges have connected with teachers, principals, superintendents, and most importantly, students throughout Louisiana. Judges have worked with teachers to enhance academic civic information in a cohesive and welcoming manner and have garnered the reward felt when knowledge is shared. As we proceed, there are more opportunities for judicial theme-based outreach to students. In the first quarter of 2023, Black History Month and Women’s History Month provide beneficial subjects on which to speak to students by including the influence diversity has made on the legal profession and how the evolution of laws has changed the civic landscape. With this knowledge, students may understand the importance of following these laws with the comprehension that model citizenship is a goal, not only for those in the profession but also for each individual.

Minden City Court Judge Sherb Sentell, III interacted with Apollo Elementary and Minden High Schools

Minden City Court Senior Judge Sherb Sentell, III hosted students from Minden High School and visited Apollo Elementary School. Judge Sentell hosted 25 Minden High School students at the courthouse in June. The students, who were members of a Civics class, had the opportunity to observe a case. Judge Sentell later explained how the justice system works and led a Q&A session with the inquisitive students who were accompanied by their teacher, Coach Dean Francis. The city attorney and assistant district attorney were also present.

Judge Sentell visited students at Apollo Elementary School in Bossier City on September 19, 2022. He spoke to an assembly of 120 fifth-grade students in the school gymnasium and discussed Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton’s PowerPoint presentation, “Crime, Consequences & the Power of Choice.” The visit was coordinated by Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education Executive Director Peggy Cotogno with the school’s principal Ms. Ashley Sanchez.

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