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Middle School Students “Dig” Into the Law at Annual Mock Trial Showcase

COLUMBUS (April 26, 2023) - Over 300 Ohio middle school students will bring a popular middle grade book to life at the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s (OCLRE) annual Middle School Mock Trial Showcase on April 27, April 28, and May 12 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.


OCLRE middle school mock trials are crafted from literature commonly taught in middle school classrooms.  This year’s case is based on Louis Sachar’s classic, Holes. The case is set in the fictional town of Green Lake, Texas in 1998, and focuses on the conditions at juvenile detention camp for boys called Camp Green Lake.


The boys at Camp Green Lake are under the care of Warden Walker, who runs the camp on land that was passed down from her great-grandfather. The camp sits in the middle of the Texas desert with high heat and dangerous insects and animals. As their punishment, and to build character, the campers are required to dig one hole each day. After many weeks at Camp Green Lake, a camper’s family finally has enough money to hire a lawyer. When the lawyer arrives at Camp Green Lake, she finds her client and another camper in a dangerous situation. This ultimately leads to Warden Walker’s arrest for child endangerment and felonious assault. At the showcase, students will have the opportunity to put Warden Walker on trial for her alleged crimes.


With the help of teachers and attorneys, students learn about the legal system and develop reading, research, writing, and public speaking skills.  Students must consider both sides of the case, as they will argue both prosecution and defense before a panel of volunteers who evaluate their performance.


Teams from the following schools will participate in the state showcase: Belpre Middle School (Washington County), Bethany School (Hamilton County), Blendon Middle School (Franklin County), Chagrin Falls Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Columbus Gifted Academy (Franklin County), Danville Middle School (Knox County), Garfield Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Genoa Middle School (Delaware County), Harding Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Heritage Middle School – Westerville (Delaware County), Independence Middle School (Cuyahoga County), Jackson Memorial Middle School (Stark County), Kenston High School (Geauga County), Lebanon Christian Middle School (Warren County), Logan Hocking Middle School (Hocking County), Menlo Park Academy (Cuyahoga County), Otsego Middle School (Wood County), Perrysburg Junior High School (Wood County), Reading Community Middle School (Hamilton County), Seton Catholic School (Summit County), St. Hilary School (Summit County), St. Matthew the Apostle (Franklin County), Trellis Academy (Knox County), Walnut Hills Middle School (Hamilton County), Walnut Springs Middle School (Franklin County), Wheelersburg Middle School (Scioto County), Woodward Park Middle School (Franklin County)


OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system.  OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation.  Middle School Mock Trial is funded in part by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.  For more information, please visit



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