Monday, May 24, 2004

Future Solicitors of Labor?

Classroom Trial Assigns Blame For Trench Collapse

I'm always complaining about how the media never looks into who's to blame for trench collapses and other workplace incidents. Well, these tykes could probably teach reporters and government officials a thing or two.
Last Wednesday, fifth- and sixth-grade students in the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program at Lacey's Pleasant Glade Elementary School took over a real courtroom at the Thurston County Courthouse for a mock trial in the fictional case of the State of Washington versus Donna McDonald. Former TAG students played members of the jury.

In the case, McDonald, the owner of Olympia Excavation Co., was accused of causing the death of an employee by not taking appropriate worker safety precautions that are required by the state. She was charged with first-degree manslaughter
I'm not sure if I agree with the outcome of the trial (acquitted on 1st degree manslaughter, convicted on 2nd degree), but they've meted out a better response than OSHA or the Justice Department generally get around to.