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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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Storybook characters are no longer willing to settle for a “happily ever after” when they can get an attorney and sue for damages.

St. Boniface Catholic School students experienced this judicial process by participating in the mock trial “Cinderella vs The Tremain Family” during a recent visit to the Ottawa County Courthouse.

Judge Kathleen Giesler presided over the proceedings while students played the roles of Cinderella, the Prince, the Tremain Family and the attorneys, bailiff and members of the jury.

Cinderella (Serena Kavanaugh), now married to the Prince (Michael Judge) and able to wear a ball gown and tiara every day, recalled bitterly the days when she dressed in rags and slept in the fireplace. She accused the Tremain family of treating her as an unpaid servant forced to do tedious and dangerous tasks, and demanded the wages she should have received while she lived with them.

 Cinderella-and-attorney
 Cinderella (Serena Kavanaugh) consults her attorney, Mr. Bonanza (John Hirt).

Lady Tremain (Teresa Rosiak) and her daughters (Isabella Reeves and Victoria Fuzinski) claimed Cinderella was asked to do the normal household chores required of any family member, and was not entitled to anything above the food and clothing she received.

Cinderella’s searing testimony caused such outrage from the Tremain sisters that Judge Giesler was forced to call for order in the court. After the jury was dismissed, both sides continued to bicker and hurl insults at one another. Attorney Mr. Bonanza (John Hirt) was confident that the jury would rule in Cinderella’s favor. Ms. Preservator (Grace Johnson) was not so certain of a victory for the Tremain family. “Everyone already knows the story,” she said. “And they made Lady Tremain look really mean.”

“She didn’t have to sleep in the fireplace,” huffed Lady Tremain, “she chose to sleep there.”

After a brief deliberation, the jury decided firmly in Cinderella’s favor on the grounds that she could have been hurt and should not have had to do all the work by herself. “They just should have shared,” said juror Broch Mansor. Third-grader Sydney Young’s favorite part was being on the jury. “It was interesting to learn from the mock trial what would happen in a real trial,” she said. Katie Glenn also liked being in the jury box. “It was fun seeing the judge and hearing the attorneys object.”

Brenda Brahier, multi-age classroom teacher, said the mock trial is a tradition at St. Boniface that the students look forward to every year. Students also visited the sheriff’s office and jail where they particularly enjoyed learning about 911 calls and fingerprinting.

St. Boniface Catholic School serves students in grades K-6 of all religions, racial, ethnic and income backgrounds. For information on the curriculum, admissions policies and registration contact the school office at 419-898-1340 or visit the website at www.sb-oh.org.

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