Chief Justice to Visit Balboa High School

for release

Contact: Cathal Conneely, 415-865-7738

February 8, 2013

Chief Justice to Visit Balboa High School

Visit part of month-long focus on civics learning

SAN FRANCISCO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye will continue her month-long focus on civic learning with a visit to the Balboa High School Law Academy in San Francisco on Wednesday, February 13, where a student panel has been selected to ask the Chief Justice questions. The visit comes as a follow-up to the Law Academy’s participation and attendance at the Supreme Court’s special oral argument session at the University of San Francisco School of Law earlier this week. The special session was the latest in a series of student outreach programs by the Supreme Court to improve public understanding of the state court system.

“The Balboa Law Academy students’ recent visit to our court’s special session gave some of them a unique opportunity to question Supreme Court justices and all of them a chance to experience their constitutional democracy in action,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. “I am advocating for improved civics education so that our students and our citizens understand that the strength of our democratic institutions relies on the public’s understanding of those institutions.”

The Balboa High School Law Academy empowers students to create social, legal, and economic justice in their communities and is supported through the work of The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Law Academy Advisory Board. The academy is one of Balboa’s academic pathways for juniors and seniors that extends the school’s small learning communities from earlier grades and prepares them for college or a career with a focus on justice.

“This is a great opportunity for the students to question and learn from the Chief Justice’s academic and professional background,” said Michael Rosenberg, Director/Teacher Balboa Law Academy. “Being in the courtroom during the oral arguments showed them firsthand the important work of the Supreme Court and exposed them to what a career in the field of law could mean.”

The visit to Balboa High School is part of a month-long program by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to raise awareness about the importance of civics to our society and to focus attention on the need for civic learning in California.

Wednesday’s visit follows the special oral argument session at the University of San Francisco School of Law on February 5 where law students were joined by high school students from Balboa High School Law Academy and Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco. Students from C. K. McClatchy’s Law and Public Policy Academy visited the Supreme Court in San Francisco on February 6 with a return visit scheduled by the Chief Justice to their school in Sacramento for February 21. During February she is also visiting Sutter Middle School in Sacramento and the University of La Verne Law School in Ontario.

The month of outreach on civics education will culminate with the Civic Learning California Summit: Making Democracy Work in Sacramento on February 28 where the Chief Justice will be joined by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.), Secretary of State Debra Bowen, State Superintendent of Public Education Tom Torlakson, and others interested in civic learning.