FBANC Co-Organizes a Know Your Rights Forum for Jesse Bethel High School Ninth Graders


On May 22, 2017, FBANC, along with Solano County Public Defenders' Racial Justice Committee and Solano County Black Lawyers, held a Know Your Rights Forum for 90 ninth graders at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, CA. The event was sponsored by FBANC Platinum Sponsor Frietas Angel and Weinberg LLP.  The students had an educational and fun time learning about their rights and had the following remarks to share:

"I learned from the Know Your Rights workshop is that even if you can't afford one, you have a right to have a public attorney to defend you. I also learned that even if you didn't know what you were doing, if you help someone out with a crime, like driving them there, you are still seen as guilty and will be arrested."  -Christopher Columbres

"I learned about rights I didn't know that I had. I liked how you asked the crowd questions and yet was like a conversation. It was not just something we just listened to."  -Jordan Lucas

"I learned that we all have our rights and that we should not be afraid to ask for a lawyer. I enjoyed the park where the lawyers all told us about who and how they became who they are."  -Dulce Flores

"I enjoyed listening to what their jobs were about handling situations. My favorite part was being able to start a conversation about if you are stopped or pulled over and what you will need to do. In a big big emergency, you are able to hurry to the emergency room. Ms. Galapate says that lawyers will need to argue or fight for your client whether you personally believe they are right or wrong. Lawyers are there to help and I liked how you they enjoy what they do and put forth all their heart and soul."  -Zuleika Mora

"During this workshop, I learned everyone has rights they are entitled to no matter who they are."  -Imani Lockwood

"I learned that we all have a right to a public defense attorney despite our economic or racial status."  -Alexia Medina

"Through the Know Your Rights workshop, I learned that if you help in a crime, you will also be held accountable. I also learned that everyone is able to have a lawyer even if they cannot afford one, which results in a public defender."  -Kaitlin Ordonio

"My favorite part was when I got to ask my own questions, the candy, the fact they came to our school, and the Starbucks gift card. I want to hang out with the lawyers more."  -Javante Wallace-Day

"In the workshop, I learned more about what my rights are as a citizen. I also learned that every person has the right to a lawyer."  -Juan Padilla

"I personally enjoyed the entire presentation but if I really had to choose it would be the introductions of all the defenses as I got to know who they are as people. I really enjoyed that we got the chance to go over our rights as teens in the justice court, and what to do/not to do while being detained by the officers. I learned that the right to remain silent also means that we can deny any questioning with the officers until you speak with a lawyer/attorney."  -Marcelo Alberto

"I learned that it's your right to be silent or not when you're being arrested. For example, if you do speak they may use whatever they say against you."  -Mary Torralba

"I enjoyed how the lawyers of the workshop made it more enjoyable with the questions and the candy all while teaching me something. I also enjoyed how they made it about us and we're able to connect us in the way they explained many things and asked students what they learned."  -Nicholas Rodriguez