Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Supreme Court Justice Meets with International Teachers

Image of a group of men and women standing gathered in the courtroom of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Donnelly meets with a group of international teachers from Kent State University.

Image of a group of men and women standing gathered in the courtroom of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Donnelly meets with a group of international teachers from Kent State University.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Donnelly met with a group of 22 international teachers from Kent State University, as part of a six-week program on media literacy.

The Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Media Literacy group consists of teachers from 11 countries, ranging from Eastern Europe to Central Asia.

They are learning about critical thinking, how to better understand bias and stereotypes, transparency of government, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, checking sources, openness of courts, and how courts deal with these issues.

Their curriculum also includes how democracies can be jeopardized by fake news and disinformation.

“This is not the first time I’ve been in a courtroom in the United States,” said Sinisa Vukadinovic, from Serbia. “I was in a courtroom in Los Angeles many years ago. We were observing a trial. This building is really unbelievable. It really looks like a Supreme Court.”

Justice Donnelly explained to the teachers how the United States justice system works.

“A defendant who is accused of a crime in our country is presumed innocent.” Justice Donnelly said. “If the prosecution brings charges and they are unable to meet that burden, the defendant is acquitted. That burden is very important to us in the United States. That’s what we value here.¬†We have 50,000 people incarcerated in the state of Ohio, which I think is way too high.”

Teachers and staffers valued the experience.

“It was great,” said Abdoulaye Fall, a graduate assistant at Kent State University. “Having the justice come talk to us, it’s something that is unheard of in other cultures. It was amazing.”