On January 21, Malden High’s Mock Trial team made its way to Chelsea District Court to compete in their first official trial of the season. Going head to head with Revere High School, MHS walked away victorious, with a score of 104-96.
This year, the Mock Trial team has a very interesting case. Two high school trumpet players entered into a competition, with one winning and the other losing. The losing student went to Twitter and sent out a tweet claiming that the victor had in fact cheated. In response to the tweet, the school suspended the student who lost the competition. During the suspension period, there was a fundraiser that the student was not allowed to attend, causing him to lose out on an opportunity for a very large scholarship.
The suspended student is suing the school for loss and damages caused by not being allowed to attend the fundraiser, and is claiming that his 1st and 14th amendment rights were denied. The student is arguing that by not letting him tweet and suspending him for it, the school has violated his freedom of speech. He is also arguing that his suspension is a violation of his 14th amendment right of due process.
The team has been vigorously preparing for the beginning of the trial season all year. According to advisor Richard Tivnan, they have been practicing “up in the front [of the class], practicing in the halls, [and] revising questions.” It’s officially trial season, “so [the team is] really [stepping] it up, [and] now they’re coming in after school to practice.”
Junior and former Blue and Gold reporter Tonijoy Pimental argues defense for this case. She has expressed that, while she feels like “there were some struggles within the case,” she finds that the team this year is “a lot stronger [and] really dedicated.” This year, the team is almost all new members, with only 4 of the 17 having returned from last year. Pimental says that “[they’ve] come together a lot,” and that this year there is “a lot more positive energy.”
Senior and Mock Trial captain Fernanda Da Silva is “very confident in [her] performance,” and is looking to get to win and go to regionals. The team made it to the Sweet 16 round for the first time ever last year, and Da Silva hopes to go even further this year.
Da Silva says that since “this is a fresh team” seeing as “almost everyone is new,” the pressure is on. The returning members have had to help the newcomers with learning the material and procedures of the courtroom, which has been like “looking at things through different eyes.
Tivnan has said that he is “very happy with the team,” and is “very impressed with the way they are going so far.” Considering the amount of new members, he shared that “they were further along than [he] actually thought they were [going to be]” and he is “excited to see how far they’re [going to] make it.”
To anyone who is considering mock trial in the future, Da Silva encourages “[giving] it a try,” saying that you “can’t judge it without trying it, and once you get there you realize it’s something really cool.”