Classroom Turned Courtroom

Classroom+Turned+Courtroom

By Abby Fletcher

A broken table, a heartbroken teacher, a betrayed class, and justice to be served. What was originally a marketing project became the case of the century.

THE ASSIGNMENT

  • Marketing teacher Ms. Breden assigned her student to build something made out of recycled resources.
  • Junior Brandon Meyer and Senior Tucker Stutnz paired up for the project.
  • The pair used empty soda cans and tape to construct an Ikea worthy table.
  • English teacher and football coach Mr. Wheelbarger had been eyeing the table since the boys brought it to school, so he asked them if he could have it after it was graded.
  • Wheelbarger proudly displayed the piece at the front of his classroom, placing a textbook on top to remind his students to do their reading homework.

THE CRIME

  • It was just your average A Day at Tuscarora; Wheelbarger took his second block class to the auditorium to present their papers.
  • The class was Public Speaking so the students were from all different grade levels, one of the builders of the table, Stuntz, happened to be in that class.
  • The class was only in the auditorium from 11:15am to 12:00pm, and in those 45 minutes the table was destroyed.
  • Only two Public Speaking students went back into Wheelbargers room (403) Sophomore Mickey Ortega (Snacks), and Senior Brenda Anthony (Boots).
  • Anthony went into the room after Ortega and supposedly the table was “already knocked over.”
  • Table was on its side with its legs broken.

THE WITNESS

  • English teacher Ms. Staley, her room is right across the hall from Wheelbarger’s. On the day of the incident she, “heard a commotion” in his room in the 45 minute window of the crime.

THE PEOPLE

  • Judge, Senior Jordan Tate
  • Sheriff, Mr. Wheelbarger
  • Detectives Sophomore Brecan Saul (Pecan), Sophomore Duncan Schenk (Slam Duncan), and Senior Tucker Stuntz (Tuck)
  • Lawyers, Sophomore Jillian Chubbkick (Miss. Chubbick), Senior Carder Saul (Carder), and Spencer Anderson (Professor)

THE SCANDAL

  • Saul was collaborating with detective Stuntz to help build his prosecution.
  • Saul had his phone recording their conversation and recorded Stuntz proclaiming that he though Ortega was the culprit.
  • Wheelbarger heard the tape and immediately took Stuntz off the case due to a, “conflict of interest.”

THE COURT

  • The court commenced on March 6, 2016.
  • The Court was streamed online to almost 1,000 viewers, and had esteemed guests including the Principal herself.

THE VERDICT

  • Ortega was convicted guilty by a vote of 4-3, and sentenced to a 14class days suspension to the back of the class.
  • Ortega appealed his sentencing to only 14 days, and won.
  • Anthony returned to her normal life after the case.
  • On March 16, 2016 the people of Tuscarora wanted their voices heard.  15 students banned together and dawned “#FREESNAXX” t-shirts to show their support for their peer, and their distrust in the justice system.