Students Choose the Bench Over the Beach

 l-r front row: Deanna Tabibzada, Asma Halimi, Saniya Saleem, and Ms. Rachel Cymbalista.  l-r back row: Social Studies Chairperson Dr. Jay Corcoran, Andrew Harrigan, and principal Mr. John Murphy.
l-r front row: Deanna Tabibzada, Asma Halimi, Saniya Saleem, and Ms. Rachel Cymbalista. l-r back row: Social Studies Chairperson Dr. Jay Corcoran, Andrew Harrigan, and principal Mr. John Murphy.

Some lucky Walt Whitman students got to participate in a one-week program at the federal courthouse in Central Islip this past summer. The program is called The Justice Institute: Crime, the Constitution, and the Courts.

The four Whitman students were part of 80 students entering 10th-grade from all over Long Island chosen for their interest in the legal field. They learned from experienced lawyers; observed actual federal court proceedings, including a guilty plea, a sentencing, and a trial; and then competed against each other in a mock trial competition.

Whitman Sophomore Andrew Harrigan who attended the summer program came away impressed.  “The expertise of the people they brought in to teach was astounding,” said Andrew. “They had the top attorneys, federal judges, FBI agents, Deputy U.S. Marshals, criminal defense lawyers and federal prosecutors, all present their respective roles within the court system.”  Andrew, along with classmates Deanna Tabibzada, Asma Halimi and Saniya Saleem are all students in Ms. Rachel Cymbalista’s elective course: Student Court.