National Law Week is held annually in May to promote an understanding of the law and its role in society. Throughout the week of May 2nd, the Luis Muñoz Marin (LMM) School for Social Justice engaged in activities that included: Social Justice Student Art Exhibition, Hour of Power, School Demonstration Debate and our Annual Law Day Mock Trial. The student art exhibition led by Art Teacher, Luis Aviles, consisted of 40 inspirational pieces depicting young artists’ interpretation of social justice. Following the art showcase, a group of attorneys, community advocates, political leaders and central office staff members joined by Superintendent Christopher Cerf and Assistant Superintendent Mitch Center attended the Hour of Power Event on Wednesday, May 4th. During the Hour of Power, these influential community frontrunners shared their stories, motivated students and gave them hope for the future. Some event highlights included two LMM students being offered summer internships from prestigious law firms, moneys were raised from commitments given by our guests and Judge Coleman rendered a civil law process to participants. The celebration continued with a School Demonstration Debate moderated by Debate Coach Shagun Kukreja. Students, Zaria Hemphill (7th), Angelica Siguencia (7th), Jenell Alford (8th), Esteffany Pitti (8th) and Marlet Lopez (8th) argued the current event topic of whether or not police officers should or should not wear body cameras. The weeklong festivities concluded with the annual Law Day Mock Trial organized by Vice Principal Kenneth Montalbano, Technology Coach Courtney Johnson, Literacy Coach Kinyetta Bird, Social Worker Al-Jathiyah Cannon and Debate Coach Kukreja. Students viewed and participated in a mock trial ruled by Judge Frank Covello of the Superior Court of New Jersey and argued Daniel Malet, Esq. and Kelly Crawford, Esq.
Principal Maria J. Ortiz shared a quote by the Honorable Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Law and order exist for the purposes of establishing justice, when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” Luis Muñoz Marin School for Social Justice does not want to fail the purpose of law and justice. Instead, we want our students to be informed and skilled and understand the role that justice plays in our society. We want our students to understand the intent of law and order in our school, community and in our nation. These efforts resonated during the week as LMM Scholars were excited to see their social justice projects, research, talents and passion for learning come alive.