CARBONDALE – As Constitution Week comes to a close in Illinois, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon brought a civics lesson to students at Carbondale Community High School. The “Courtroom in the Classroom” presentation in Carbondale is one of 225 like presentations that the Illinois Judges Association is sponsoring at Illinois high schools throughout the month.
“Each branch of our government has a very real impact on students throughout the state,” said Simon, a former Jackson County prosecutor. “The Courtroom in the Classroom program helps to vividly make that connection and engage students in our democracy.”
Judge Carolyn Smoot, Judge Christy Solverson and Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier joined Simon in leading a discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court case New Jersey v T.L.O.
The 1985 case involved a female student caught smoking in the school bathroom. The principal searched her purse and found marijuana, paraphernalia and money, implicating the student in drug dealing. The student claimed the search violated her 4th Amendment rights, but the court held that the search was reasonable.
“Not only have students found these presentations to be engaging and educational, but they have been fun,” Solverson said. “I’m glad I have had the opportunity to share my work with these students, and I look forward to continuing to spread this message across the state.”
Governor Pat Quinn declared September 17-23 as Constitution Week in Illinois in honor of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. The declaration encourages Illinois residents to recognize the importance of the Constitution in our enduring tradition of democracy, and “reaffirm our commitment to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.”
The proclamation was presented to the Illinois Judges Association during a ceremony at the State Supreme Court on September 12.