Pendleton brings the legal process alive for students

As 10th Judicial District Judge Alan Pendleton began his presentation to the class, one of the sixth-graders asked to go to the bathroom.

Tenth District Court Judge Alan Pendleton waits as candy thief Blake Baeten is brought in by Officer Reid Benson. The St. Francis Middle School sixth-graders were helping Pendleton illustrate law works.Photo by Tammy Sakry

Tenth District Court Judge Alan Pendleton waits as candy thief Blake Baeten is brought in by Officer Reid Benson. The St. Francis Middle School sixth-graders were helping Pendleton illustrate law works.Photo by Tammy Sakry

On his way out, the boy, later identified as Blake Baeten, grabbed the judge’s bag of candy and made a run for it.

But Baeten did not get far as classmate Reid Benson was in hot pursuit.

The pair had been chosen to help Pendleton demonstrate the legal process and the law to the students in Deb Parson’s St. Francis Middle School social studies class April 5.

When he does these types of presentation he always tries to make it interactive and entertaining, Pendleton said.

With the help of the four students, Pendleton was able to explain what happens when people get arrested, he said.

In addition to walking the students through the legal system, Pendleton also showed the students three short videos throughout his discussion.

The first was a newscast about a non-lethal car accident. After the normal news story was done, the story was given a humorous spin by being set to music.

The second video was on courtroom violence and the role bailiffs play in the courtroom.

Pendleton ended his presentation with a sobering video about a woman who was severely burned in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.

Pendleton does these presentation to high schools and middle schools in the judicial district, which includes Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Sherburne, Pine, Washington and Wright counties, five to six times a year.

This is the first time he has done a presentation in St. Francis, Pendleton said.

“The kids loved it,” said Parson.

“He really brought the information to life.”

But an hour was not enough. Her students have come up with a list of follow-up questions for Pendleton that Parson plans on emailing to him, she said.

They also have asked if Pendleton could set up a forum for further communications and questions, Parson said.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com

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