(Out)Laws & Justice
(OUT)LAWS & JUSTICE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 11 to 14 discover their role in creating a just and civil society by examining the roots of violence and conflict-resolution skills to deal with disputes. Our multidisciplinary history, language arts and theatre arts curriculum is structured to learn and reflect about violent events resulting from westward expansion, and the American legal doctrine of “no duty to retreat,” its origins in the American frontier, and its influence on their own lives today. Students in (OUT)LAWS & JUSTICE do not just attend history and language arts classes, they become part of the action. Taking a cue from the educational maxim that children learn better by doing, (OUT)LAWS & JUSTICE brings theatre arts into the history and language arts classrooms. Through drama students become involved in historical situations, or situations they bring from their own lives. Through study of primary source documents, discussion, writing and role-playing, they explore difficult issues, which motivates their critical-thinking, decision-making and social skills. Students step into dramas they have written and take responsibility for solving problems, defuse conflicts and investigate issues.