Last week, I was called for jury duty in a court case that was to last the entire week. I was not selected to serve on the jury, but I did get to experience the jury selection process. Sitting in the courtroom, my fellow potential jurists and I were asked a number of questions to determine who would be the "fairest" for the specific case of Mr. and Mrs. ___________ versus the _____________ Company (I'm not at liberty to discuss anything about the case here.). The selection process took the entire day.
But I ask again, do the things we teach apply outside the walls of our school? We certainly hope that they do. In fact, our goal is for our Core Behaviors to be adopted city wide. Here are some things I thought about while I was sitting in the courthouse (The numbers have been changed to protect the innocent.):
- Jurist 16: Dress professionally! The form you received in the mail mentioned dressing appropriately for the decorum of the court. Don't wear you old, ripped jeans, your miniskirt, and don't wear shorts.
- Jurist 29: Don't lie to the judge! You know you exaggerated the excuse you gave in the effort to be excused. You even admitted it to Jurist #30 sitting beside you.
- Jurist 19: Stop showing off! For some reason, you have the idea that you should let everybody know about you experiences and your ability to lead. You attempted to dominate every question.
- Jurist 4: Pay attention! You will not be able to actually effectively serve on the jury if you are finally selected. The parties involved deserve to be heard.
- Jurist 35: Stop rolling your eyes and groaning! Jury duty, like voting, is an important civil responsibility. Serving is part of who we are as citizens of the United States. We should be happy to accept our patriotism.
- Jurist 41: Respect other people! Don't act like we're stupid. You're acting like an airhead to get out of serving, but you're just perturbing everyone. The lawyers have done this before, and they're on to you.
- Jurist 41 (him again): Show up on time! Seriously, you were late to your seat in the morning and late to return after every recess. More than 50 people have to wait on you before proceedings can continue.
- Jurist 1: Speak up! People need to hear your responses.
- Jurists in general: Don't cheer for shirking! I know you're happy to get out of your responsibility, but it's in bad taste to audibly cheer. The parties involved can hear you through the open door that separates us.
At the same time, there are positive things we could mention, as well:
- Jurist 20: Thank you for your military service. I noticed that you stood when you spoke (as instructed), and you responded with "yes sir" and "no ma'am" when called upon to do so.
- Jurist 32: You are of advanced age, and you never complained. I can certainly respect that you carried your diabetic supplies with you in order to take care of your needs as they arose.
- Jurist 20 (same guy): You dressed for the setting. I see that you shined you shoes and donned a coat and tie for the occasion.
- Jurists in general: For the most part, you were respectful. In most areas, only one or two people fit into the negative bullets above.
While I was relieved to not be selected, as I knew I wanted to teach on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing on the next day, and I already had an appointment for a tooth extraction on Friday that I didn't want to reschedule. At the same time, I was disappointed when I was not selected. I hope to happily participate in the process in the future.