County Column: Magistrate Damon Alt

This submission is part of a regular series of columns in The Advertiser-Tribune that features county voices. The series allows a direct, unfiltered message straight from county officials to our residents.

Today’s column was submitted by Seneca County Magistrate Damon Alt.

A virtual tour for Tiffin City third-graders at the Seneca County Justice Center

Alt meets with Seneca County Administrator Stacy Wilson.

The Seneca County Common Pleas Courts have a longstanding tradition of participating with the Tiffin City Schools Third Grade Tours. Every year in the spring, the court, along with other participating departments and community organizations, provides educational tours to the Tiffin City Third Graders.
Every year the judges and staff all look forward to the Third Grade tours, however when the COVID-19 Pandemic arose and students were attending their classes remotely the courts were saddened that they had to cancel the tours for this year. Fortunately, the Tiffin City Schools reached out to the Seneca County Common Pleas Courts and asked if they could provide a virtual tour of the Justice Center. Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judges Michael P. Kelbley and Steve C. Shuff agreed that a virtual tour of the Justice Center would be made.
The virtual tour of the Justice Center was completed with the assistance of Seneca County Public Relations Coordinator, Jimmy Flint. For the video, Magistrate Kenneth Clason and I narrated as we filmed the virtual tour. These tours are important, as they provide the opportunity for the third graders to see the Common Pleas Courtrooms, and to allow them to get a better understanding of what role the courts play and what types of cases are heard by the Seneca County Common Pleas Court. During the tours, information is provided to students regarding where the Plaintiff and Defendant are seated, who the Plaintiff and Defendant are, the roles of the Judge, attorneys, court reporter, bailiff and the importance of juries and their duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, this year the Magistrates were unable to take and answer questions from the students, which are usually very colorful. These tours are a great way to educate our young students and better their understanding of the Seneca County Common Pleas Courts.
We hope that the third graders have learned something new and enjoyed the virtual tour that was produced. We are looking forward to continuing this long-standing tradition of having the annual Tiffin City Schools Third Grade Tours next year.
A special thanks to Judge Michael P. Kelbley, Judge Steve C. Shuff, Magistrate Kenneth Clason, Jimmy Flint, Tiffin City Schools staff and administration, for helping to provide some normalcy for the Tiffin City Third Graders during this unprecedented pandemic.