SOBERING: Maclean High students with police prosecutor Nick Wiles and magistrate Robyn Denes. Photo: Adam Hourigan
SOBERING: Maclean High students with police prosecutor Nick Wiles and magistrate Robyn Denes. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Reality check for students after their day in court

TWENTY-five Maclean High School year 10 commerce students have graduated from the three Rs of education to the three Ds.

Sitting in on Monday's Grafton Local Court session, the students received a short talk from Magistrate Robyn Denes and the police prosecutor Nick Wyles in the morning tea break.

Magistrate Denes said students were at an age when drinking, driving and drugs were looming as activities of interest to them.

She cautioned that while there was a view in the community recreational drug taking had become accepted, it was still illegal and likely to cause problems later in life.

"In short just don't do it," Ms Denes said.

Mr Wyles said Ms Denes, who also worked as a coroner, was speaking from experience when she cautioned against drinking and driving.

"She has to see some terrible stuff when it all goes wrong," he said.

The teachers of the two commerce classes, Steve McKenzie and Leigh-Ann Messer, expected Monday's lesson to be taken to heart.

"They saw someone get 'taken down'," Mr McKenzie said.

"It's a sobering thought to see someone walk into a court room through the front door and be led down to the cells after his hearing is over."

Mr McKenzie said the classes had been involved in a mock trial at Maclean Court House earlier in the year.

"We gave the students different roles in a trial involving a trial of a drink driver who caused a serious accident.

"We actually filmed the whole proceedings and made it into a movie."

He said many of the students at the court house were taking legal studies in their senior schooling.



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