Judicial Fairness – Playground Bullies

Lesson Duration

Authors:  Rich Rosiviach, Jude Hogeboam, and members of the Minnesota State Bar Association Civic Education Committee

Through a role-playing activity, students learn about judicial fairness and bias.  A scenario involving a playground bully is the starting point.  Students will portray a group of adults with opinions as to the punishment of the bully.  The adults have different viewpoints that may impact their ability to make fair judgments in the case.


  • Students will discuss the idea of “fairness” and “fair” decision-making, and
  • how the things judges say or their behavior in the past might affect both the judge’s ability to be fair
  • and a person’s perception of the judge’s fairness





The Minnesota State Bar Association Civic Education Matters Lesson Bank contains age appropriate lessons plans created or modified by the Civic Education Committee.