National director for Save Our Schools, Bob George and founder of United Opt Out, Morna McDermott joined the show to reveal details regarding their mock trial taking place next month. The mock trial will act as an authentic trial including: two judges, a prosecutor, defense attorneys, and witnesses. The idea arose from a tradition that takes place at the Selma Jubilee where people conduct a trial on an important issue.
“We decided that it’d be important to…create a mock trial and focus on the crimes committed by the corporate reformers, the legislatures, politicians, and the companies that are taking are taking our education system and taking it in the wrong direction,” said Bob George. George also indicated that there would be indictments for crimes against the community like fiscal fraud and misappropriations of funds. One specific offense that is going to be highlighted is the closings of schools, which in this trial is being regarded as a hate crime against children. (Bios for Bob George and Morna McDermott below.)
Morna McDermott also voiced her frustrations with the education system’s decisions to close high-performing schools, especially in the Baltimore, Maryland area. McDermott, who has experienced a mock trial in Selma, Alabama, described the trial as a “rehearsal for reality,” going on to say, “when you have a trial, ideally what you’re doing is you’re revealing the truth to a set of assumptions.” She believes that this trial, along with all the events throughout the weekend, will be instrumental in making a positive change in education system.
Morna McDermott briefly discussed the newly released book by United Opt Out, An Activist Handbook for the Education Revolution: United Opt Out’s Test of Courage. The book is composed of personal stories and research conducted in the education field. The book acts as a good resource guide for anyone who wants to know about the changing landscape of the education system. United Opt Out will also be hosting a book talk on the evening of July 25th to better discuss the book’s core.
The mock trial will be open to the public, and held on July 24th in conjunction with BAT Congress and the arrival of Jesse “The Walking Man” Turner.
Tracks 2 and 3 below —
- Morna McDermott is Associate Professor at Towson University, where she teaches various theory and methods courses in the College of Education, and a founder of United Opt Out.
- Bob George is national director for Save Our Schools and co-editor of Empathy Educates.
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