Weekly Roundup – Kerstin Sheehan

Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers

In February, the New York Times published a story about the federal government receiving over 4,500 complaints during a four-year period regarding sexual abuse of immigrant children who were being detained at government-funded detention facilities. Read More.

Controversy Over Charging Children as Adults

In Indiana, Senate Bill 279 would allow courts to try a child as young as12-year-olds as an adult for heinous or aggravated felonies.  Read More.

New York City Reaches $3.3 Million Settlement With Kalief Browder’s Family

In January, the Browder Family received $3.3 million from New York City’s Law Department for the tragedy of what happened with their son, Kalief Browder. Browder was an African American man who was accused of stealing a backpack when he was 16 years old. Browder was detained for three years, spending the majority of the time in solitary confinement. Without being tried or convicted, Browder’s charges were eventually dropped. After he was released, Browder took his own life because of the “mental anguish and trauma from his time in jail.”  Read More.

Weekly Roundup: Teens and children taking charge and making change

Unvaccinated teens are fact-checking their parents — and trying to get shots on their own:

In February the Washington Post published a story about unvaccinated teens taking charge of their own health by researching vaccinations their parents failed to provide them. One great example that including teens and our children in the discussions that affect them we have the ability reach better decisions as a society. One teen began to “read scientific papers and journals… studies on his phone at the dinner table, hoping his mother would relent and get him and his four younger siblings — now ages 16, 14, 5 and 2 — vaccinated.” Read more.

How Donald Trump helped turn teenage girls into political activists:

Role-modeling for young children and teens can make a difference in many areas. One key area, recent research shows, is in political arena. More teen girls, Democrats to be specific, have been political active and protesting as a result of the 2016 election. The number of protesting teens weren’t just up for girls who’s parents protested, as “Democratic girls whose parents didn’t protest also expressed a desire to take to the streets… [because] they had other visible role models — including women marchers and organizers in their communities and nationwide… see[ing] protest as an important part of their own political repertoire.” Read more.

How Youth Activism Has Changed the Country in the Year Since Parkland:

How has the Parkland shooting activism by teens and children changed the status quo? Teen Vouge reports that after Parkland students took to the street to protest and actively advocate for gun law change, it “help[ed] to bolster what is estimated to be the highest midterm election turnout for young people in a quarter-century.” Read more.


By: Lauae Kaleikau

We Need YOU!!! Taking Volunteers to help with Mock Trial!!

Houston area high school students have been working hard in their Street Law classes, and are right now choosing their roles, practicing, and working with their groups to prepare for the annual University of Houston Law Center Mock Trial Competition. We need help to run this special event and are currently dangerously short on volunteers. We ask that you consider donating time to mentor these youth and facilitate the street law educational program. Please contact Professor Marrus, emarrus@central.uh.edu or me at lauaelynn@hotmail.com if you are able to give of your time. More details below.

From Professor Marrus:

Street Law Mock Trial – What is it? Law students from the University of Houston Law Center work with high school students every a week in local HISD and KIPP schools for the fall and spring semesters. They teach the high school students about the law and our legal system. During the spring semester the students compete in a mock trial competition. The competition is fierce (both the law students and the high school students want their school to go home with the championship trophy). To have this all run smoothly we need your help.  We need judges, scorers and timekeepers for various rounds of the competition. The students appreciate you taking the time to help out and to provide them with feedback on how the trials were conducted. More information will follow about the case, the trial procedures, rules, timing, etc.to those that are interested in helping out. If you cannot commit to judging, scoring, or timekeeping please try and stop by and watch our students in action. Remember these high school students may be our future law students and lawyers. They work hard all year preparing for this day and any support is appreciated.

The competition will take place on Friday, March 29th at the University of Houston Law Center. Round one goes from 9:30 to 11:15, round two is from 12:00 to 1:30, Round three is from 1:45 to 3:15 and our championship round will be from 3:30 to 5:00 PM in Krost Hall. The championship round is going to be judged by Judge Michelle Moore, an alumna of UHLC and newly elected Harris county juvenile judge. All are welcome to attend the championship round and we do need time keepers and scorers for that round also.

If you are interested in participating please copy and paste the form below and email it to emarrus@central.uh.edu as soon as possible, but no later than March 4th. Thanks for your help and support.



Email address:

I am a

⚪️ Judge

⚪️    Lawyer

⚪️    Law professor

⚪️    Law student

⚪️    Legal professional

⚪️ Undergraduate student

⚪️ Other:______________________________________________

There are four ways to volunteer – judges, scorers, time keepers, and general volunteers. Judges have to be lawyers and/or judges to preside over the mock trial. Judges rule on objections, maintain order in the courtroom, may be keeping track of time, scoring, and providing feedback to the students. It is important to read over the packet prior to the trial and clarifying any matters where questions might arise ahead of time. Scorers can be law students, lawyers or judges. In that role you are given a set of criteria for rating the teams numerically. The criteria includes the quality of students’ presentations, understanding of the law, grasp of the issues in the case, and overall organization, to name a few. All scorers have to turn in the scoresheets immediately following the completion of the trial.  The scorers and judges will also pick the best attorney and best witness for each team. Time keepers will keep time for each round. We hope to have two time keepers in each room. One to keep time for the prosecution and the other for the defense. General volunteers will help direct people to the appropriate room, collect score sheets, help tally, assign people to rooms and provide general support for all participants.

I am interested in being a (you may check more than one) ⚪️ judge        ⚪️ scorer     ⚪️       time keeper  ⚪️      general volunteer

For      ⚪️ round one (9:30 to 11:15)         ⚪️       round two (12:00 – 1:30)       ⚪️      round three (1:45 to 315)

If you are interested in being a general volunteer please indicate the times you would be available _______________________________________________

If you are interested in volunteering with the championship round, please indicate here – ______Yes, I will stay for the championship round and would be willing to help out.