Announcements

Post Date: 12 Apr 2021

When is the filibuster a constitutional tool for good, and when is it a political roadblock? To help students explore this question, you can introduce news headlines like this one from the Associated Press, then use Activity 3A from Foundations in Law, Unit 1: Human Nature, Rules, and Power. In Activity 3A,  students consider ways in which each component of the legal system may check the powers of the others, and compare the federal system to checks and balances in their own school community. Students may choose to use their voices to advocate for the preservation or eradication of the filibuster and its role in advancing or blocking civil rights. 

Post Date: 14 Jan 2021

As a sitting president is impeached for an unprecedented 2nd time, students can analyze the headlines in real time by comparing the checks and balances built into the Constitution and the means by which the executive branch enforces the rule of law. Teachers can use Activity 2 in Foundations in Law, Unit 1: Human Nature, Rules, and Power to help students compare the rules in their own school, community, and state to those being challenged in the nation's Capitol. 

Post Date: 25 Sep 2020

As waves of dissent and protest move across the US, consider using Foundations in Criminal Justice Unit 2: Responses to Crime to help your students understand why and how disparities in how a law is enforced can lead to structural inequality and oppression. Another useful classroom resource is Foundations in Law Unit 5: Equal Justice Under the Law, in which students explore different forms of dissent and the ways in which these movements have led to change. 

Post Date: 3 Jun 2020

As waves of dissent and protest move across the US, consider using Foundations in Criminal Justice Unit 2: Responses to Crime to help your students understand why and how disparities in how a law is enforced can lead to structural inequality and oppression. Another useful classroom resource is Foundations in Law Unit 5: Equal Justice Under the Law, in which students explore different forms of dissent and the ways in which these movements have led to change. 

Post Date: 19 Mar 2020

For schools that have been closed due to COVID-19, many of the Law and Justice curriculum activities can be adapted for distance learning. Students can explore COVID-19 legislation using the project and activities in Foundations in Law, Unit 2: The Legal System in ActionFoundations in Criminal Justice, Unit 1: There Ought to Be a Law! provides a great opportunity for students to consider community, state, and federal actions such as quarantines, lockdowns, and restaurant closures in the context of community safety. 

Post Date: 10 Dec 2019

As coverage of the impeachment hearings dominate the news cycles, teachers may find a rich opportunity to help students better understand the powers of both houses of Congress as well as the steps and constitutionality of the impeachment process. This detailed description of the impeachment process from Cornell University's Legal Information Institute is a great classroom resource to supplement Foundations in Law, Unit 1: Human Nature, Rules, and Power or Unit 2: The Legal System in Action. 

Post Date: 2 Jul 2019

In Washington D.C., prosecutors are reconsidering restorative justice as an approach to public safety. Consider using this story to help students make connections to Activity 4A: Youth Justice and Social Justice in Foundations in Criminal Justice: Unit 4 - Youth Justice

Post Date: 27 Nov 2018

Battles between the current administration and federal judges can provide teachable moments that help students dive into the role of the judiciary and the tension between political appointments and the rule of law. Consider using articles like this one in conjunction with Foundations in Law Unit 1 - Human Nature, Rules and Power: The Origins of Law. 

"Chief Justice Roberts responds to Trump's criticism of judges." Jurist: Legal News and Research. November 21, 2018. https://www.jurist.org/news/2018/11/chief-justice-roberts-responds-to-trumps-criticism-of-judges/

Post Date: 12 Mar 2018

The wave of student activism in response to the series of school shootings in recent months provides a unique opportunity to connect students to their role as the "fourth branch of government." Consider using the article below in conjunction with  Foundations in Law, Unit 2: The Legal System in Action to help students understand the levels and layers that exist within the legal landscape, the ways in which they are interrelated, and the role students can play in initiating and influencing change.  

Parkland's Student Activists are Getting a Powerful Civics Lesson

Education Week, March 12, 2018

Post Date: 8 Sep 2017

Analysis of the legal landscape at all levels requires students to think critically about information sources and the perspectives they represent. In the current climate of "fake news," consider enhancing the literacy strategies embedded in the Law and Justice curriculum units with the media literacy resources provided by EDC in their web feature, Everyone's Worried About Fake News. What Can Teachers Do About It?