In addition to his duties as a circuit judge for Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Judge John Bowman shares his legal expertise with related professional organizations. Judge John Bowman has spoken to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), whose mission is to uphold the constitutional right to a trial by a civil jury.
In September 2016, ABOTA’s educational component, the ABOTA Foundation, sponsored the first-ever National Teachers Law School, an event intended to promote in-depth civics education. Held in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center, the two-day event gathered judges, lawyers, historians, and educators to discuss a variety of issues.
Topics included dealing with civic engagement after a tragedy, the jury trial as the final guardian of rights, and helping students make sense of the Constitution. Additionally, participants learned about legal issues that affect school-age children, such as social media in relation to the First Amendment.
Public officials stressed the necessity of knowing how the American governmental system worked. They noted that many students received little or no instruction in civics. One judge argued the nation has forgotten the importance of students’ learning their role as citizens possessing rights.