After weeks of planning and coordinating, American Sign Language teacher Kate Logan took a group of ASL students to the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Tribeca on Monday, March 9, for a federal jury trial. The highly anticipated trip was meant to illustrate the fight of two NYPD officers, forced to retire, as they sought to protect their human rights against a blanket policy that prohibits the employment of any officers using hearing aids.
The group made their way downtown just as school started only to find upon their arrival that there was talk of a settlement. While they missed the chance to see such a pivotal case play out in court, the day was not wasted. Instead, this group of freshmen, sophomores and juniors got to talk with the judge, lawyers, and disability rights advocates involved in the days’ proceedings.
Not only did they get an inside look at the unpredictable nature of the legal system, but they were also invited to sit in on the jury selection process of an unrelated criminal case. This day in the courthouse provided a firsthand look and real life experience that allowed these ASL students to further the Deaf culture knowledge they’ve developed within their language classes.