On Thursday, the middle school students staged a mock trial of Joan of Arc. Students prepared for weeks, researching and practicing their roles as lawyers, royalty, and townspeople who knew and interacted with Joan. Katrien coached the prosecution. Jennifer worked with the defense and volunteer judge, Paul Kosmas, kept the courtroom in order. Students had to be prepared to field questions in character from both sides. The Seniors served as the jury, dutifully listening and taking notes. Adult spectators also were able to weigh in at the conclusion and ask questions of the participants.
Considered a heroine in France for taking up arms against the English in the Hundred Years’ War, Joan was captured and accused of heresy. After a politically motivated trial, she was burned at the stake at the age of 19 in 1431. However, she fared a much better fate at North Branch, as Seniors (and parents) found her not guilty and she was able to go home with her parents after school. Below are some pictures from the trial: