National Judicial Outreach Week welcomed eight area judges, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and members of the Boston Police Department to Volley Against Violence (VAV) at Sportsmen’s Tennis Enrichment Center (STEC) last Friday, March 1. The police and community engagement initiative program was designed and offered by STEC in partnership with the Boston Police Community Tennis Association.
The judges taught a 20 to 25-minute interactive presentation on bullying with the students – separated by age groups by grade K-2, 3-5, and 6 and older – and some of their parents. The judges included were Superior Court Judge Robert Ullmann; District Court Judge Antoinette Leoney; Boston Municipal Court Judge Jonathan Tynes; Boston Municipal Judge Pamela Dashiell; Probate and Family Court Judge Janine Rivers; Appeals Court Justice Diana Maldonado; Boston Municipal Court Judge Michael Bolden; and Juvenile Court Judge Gloria Tan.
“Superior Court Judge Angel Kelley and Superior Court Judge Robert Ullmann, in coordination with STEC staff, determined that an anti-bullying program would be most beneficial, due to the age range of the students. Judges talked to the youth about how to identify bullying conduct and engaged them in a conversation about how a bullied person might feel, with the hope of preventing bullying and that they will speak up when someone bullies them or someone else,” stated the Trial Court. “Additionally, the goal of the program was to engage with the youths and give them a positive interaction with the legal system. The judges wanted them to know more about what a judge does, to get to know the judges as people, and to tell them how they became judges. After the presentation the judges played tennis with the kids.”
This year, the Trial Court has expanded activities like this from a week-long program to a month-long program throughout the state. Over 150 active and retired judges will volunteer their time to speak to students and members of the public, educating them about the judicial branch and various topics.
For more information on VAV and STEC, please visit sportsmenstennis.org.