IRON MOUNTAIN — Students from a local middle school had an exciting chance to play judges, attorneys, and other realistic characters in the Dickinson County Courthouse today.

Eighth graders from Kingsford Middle School have been studying the book, The Outsiders the past couple months. One of the main characters, Johnny was put on trial, allowing the class to decide his fate from what they’ve learned in the book.

Bringing the students to the courthouse, gives them some real life experience and a chance to learn outside of the classroom.

“We’re always trying to challenge our students to reach that higher level of thinking and this is one step further than just paper and pencil tests. We’ve got prosecuting attorneys, we got defensive attorneys, we have little film crews that are interviewing students and some students just took off with the social media portion of it. It’s just a real neat, real world experience,” said Kingsford Middle School 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Jon Lorenzoni.

The students were able to sign up for whichever role suited them the most. For one student, this learning activity was preparation for her future dream career of being a lawyer.

With all the research and preparation done by this student, she felt pretty confident stepping into the courtroom.

“A lot of stuff we did to prepare for today was go over different case laws and when they were made, because this case took place in 1965, we have to go by that law so that took a lot of research and studying. Also, we looked up the different degrees of manslaughter, murder, and what to charge the criminal with,” said 8th Grade Prosecuting Attorney, Katherine Erickson.

This case was also live streamed by students giving everyone a chance to keep up to date on the trial. Mr. Lorenzoni already hopes to have a similar event next year.