Judge visits CIS students

Published 11:53 am Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

District Court Judge Chris Speaks was recently the guest speaker for fourth grade students at Clanton Intermediate School.

As a district judge, Speaks handles civil, criminal and juvenile courts.

Speaks talked about his job and encouraged students to stay out of his courtroom — unless they are visiting or have a career in law enforcement or as an attorney.

He encouraged students that any of them could become a judge like he is, “if you will work hard on your grades and stay out of trouble.”

The various ways getting in trouble and doing drugs could ruin the students’ lives was highlighted.

“I want to talk to you all mainly today about making wise choices,” Speaks said.

He told the students that choices they make now, right or wrong, can have a lasting impact on their life.

How they use a cellphone was one example Speaks gave. He said a cellphone can be a good tool for doing homework and looking up information, but “it can get you in trouble in a hurry.”

“Please, please, please do not ever communicate on this with someone you do not know because, guess what, I can be anybody that I want to be, if I am talking to you on this phone,” Speaks said.

He told students not to give out personal information.

Being wise about what messages they send was also emphasized.

“I say that these phones can be like a gun,” Speaks said.

The damage done by a mean or untrue message sent or social media posts made cannot be undone.

Speaks also spoke about the importance of standing up to peer pressure when someone pressures them to do illegal drugs. Speaks highlighted all the work opportunities using drugs would disqualify them for and the health consequences, including brain damage and possible death.

“We see that (death) way too often,” Speaks said.

Speaks ended his time by answering questions from students.