“I said in my heart, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since a time is set for every affair and for every work.” Ecclesiastes 3:17
Dozens of high school students at Melbourne Central Catholic just got a little lesson in crime and punishment. It started with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Viera courthouse December 7th- complete with a look at holding cells and a little straight talk from deputies, attorneys, and a judge.
It’s much more than a cool field trip. This is part of the new Law & Global Business Society at MCC. Director Missie Cannon-Valencia explains, “The purpose of the societies is to prepare students for college and future career opportunities.” This is the inaugural year of the program. In addition to law, the students can choose from medical sciences, STEM, or visual and performing arts. “They work very much like college majors with a student applying to one of the four societies that focus on a specific area,” says Cannon-Valencia.
The courthouse tour took a deep dive into law and order. Corporal Wells explained the different levels of security, let the students walk through the law library, he even explained how prisoners are transported to and from the building for trial. The students then watched as more than 15 people argued their case before a judge. Each student came away with a newfound appreciation of the legal system.
One state attorney proudly revealed he is a Catholic high school graduate and explained how his Catholic education helps guide him to this day. After the proceedings, the judge also stressed the importance of knowledge and understanding your constitutional rights.
Afterwards, an MCC student shared “I am amazed how compassionate the judge and the prosecuting attorney were in wanting each person to be a better version of themselves.” Something Cannon-Valencia hoped they would soak in all along. Her final thought, “These societies help our students find true fulfillment by discovering God’s will in their lives.”
By Jen Drow, special to the Florida Catholic Newspaper – December 12, 2017