The Defamation Experience: Informative . . . Amazing . . . Thought Provoking

On Thursday, October 18, the School community took a morning for the presentation and discussion of The Defamation Experience, a program that consists of a courtroom drama, which the audience decides as the jury, and a facilitated discussion. The case presented explores issues of race, class, religion, gender, and the law — important and somewhat sensitive issues. Students and faculty had prepared by learning relevant vocabulary and talking about stretching out of their comfort zones to address difficult subjects. After the presentation, everyone gathered in groups to discuss the experience over lunch. 

Here's a report on the day from Bella S. ’20, one of the leaders of Foxcroft’s diversity and inclusion club, We the People:
The Defamation Experience was informative, thought provoking, and overall amazing.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I walked into FoxHound Auditorium, or "the courtroom," last Thursday. The actors explained in the beginning that we, the audience, would be the jury, and we would decide the outcome of the case, which was a civil suit in which a professional black woman sues a white, Jewish man for defamation. When the play started, I was totally locked in and listening to every detail of the case.

Hearing each side of the story created a conflict in my mind. At the end of the case, I was undecided. Both sides barely had any evidence but in a civil case you don't make a decision based on whether there is a “reasonable doubt” or not. You decide based on "the preponderance of evidence.”

I had to rethink all of the details presented in the case to come to my decision for the first vote. Then we talked about what we had heard, like we were in a jury room trying to come to a decision. It was amazing to listen to what other people thought about the case during our jury discussion. I personally thought the case was full of defamation. When we took the final vote, the group as a whole found so, too.

I would love to have more of these school-wide activities because I heard so much incredible feedback from many students. 
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.