On September 25, 2019, the Plaquemines Parish District Attorney Project L.E.A.D. (Legal Enrichment And Decision making) classes began at the Belle Chasse Middle School. Educators Ms. Barrilleaux and Mrs. Taylor graciously hosted the first lessons in their sixth-grade classes. Assistant DA’s Mary Touzet and Sarah Tesvich as well as Project LEAD Coordinator Rae Riley taught the introductory lessons regarding the Criminal Justice system.
The first two lessons focused on all the roles involved in criminal proceedings such as the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the victims, the witnesses, the bailiff, and the jurors. Students were able to participate in a scenario where four boys allegedly committed a crime and were arrested. From this scenario, they talked about the positive and negative consequences of a person’s actions.
The remaining six lessons will be taught throughout the fall concluding with a mock trial in an actual court room. A judge from the 25th Judicial District Court or 4th Circuit Court of Appeal will preside over the mock trial. In the Spring of 2020, the same lessons will be taught at Phoenix Middle School, South Plaquemines Elementary School, Boothville-Venice Elementary School and at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.