#APCore Students Study the Dred Scott Decision with an Electifying Mock Trial!

Wheatley’s AP Core program is a three-period course of study that includes AP United States History, AP English Language and Social Science Research. The first two courses prepare students for the corresponding Advanced Placement examinations in May; the third course prepares students for the National History Day competition as well as our school requirement for an 11th Grade Research Paper.

A key feature of the AP Core program is its interdisciplinary nature. The three teachers, Mr. McKenna, Dr. Staudt and Mr. Ardito, collaborate on the content and pacing of their component courses.

Over the past week, Mr. McKenna’s students have been preparing for a mock trial of the 1857 Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sanford — one of the most infamous cases in Supreme Court History. In sum, the decision U.S. Supreme Court stated that slaves were not citizens of the United States, they could not expect any protection from the government, and that Congress had no authority to ban slavery from a Federal territory.

In court proceedings that were at times fast-paced and electric, the students of AP Core did a remarkable job presenting the their viewpoints to the “justices” of the court. With full command of the legal maneuvering that can take place in a courtroom, students brought to life the essential issues and prejudices of the day!

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