Kids will learn what they see in the Justice System, not just what they're told

This week is a busy week for me. I’m the Chair of the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) – Halton Committee and it is Mock Trial Championship time.

On Wednesday, the top 8 Halton High School teams will compete for the championship. On Friday, teams from Halton, Peel and Guelph will compete for the Central West title.

I love working with the students – they are enthusiastic, passionate and the world is their oyster. They do not feel held back by their gender, country of birth, religion or sexual orientation. They feel they can do anything and they can.

This is in stark contrast to much of the media coverage in the GTA lately which has been pitting the issue of race against the Justice System.

The wonderful lawyers who are volunteering their time to Mentor and serve as Judges for the Mock Trial Tournaments reflect the diverse makeup of our Justice System. We’re not all crusty old white men, which appears to be the common thread in the media these days. We are, in fact made up of young and old, male and female, born in Canada and not born in Canada, from a variety of religions and from none and not just white. We are the Justice System in the GTA and the students competing in our Mock Trials this week will see themselves in that system and may choose careers in that system.

Good luck to all the schools competing this week!

Inga B. Andriessen JD
iandriessen@andriessen.ca

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