Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling, Trooper Bruce Morris of the Pennsylvania State Police, Program Founder Mark Falvo, Russell Brought and Jeff Rhone will participate in the program. Ike the Spike will tag along with them.
Nevling said this reunion program is a final farewell and a way to provide closure to the educational program. The program existed for nine years in area schools and introduced guest speakers, K-9s, mascots, mayhem and fun to students. During such programs, students explored professions within the legal system.
“It was a cross-reference of the court system. [It consisted of] lawyers, judges, the sheriff’s department, police officers, probation and everyone came in and offered stories to the kids. They would answer questions and entertain them but let them learn from it,” said Nevling.
Morris was drawn to the Legal Eagles program.
“The kids are fascinated by the vast diversity of presenters that speak to them,” he said. “Astronauts, judges, police officers, etc. are mainly just an image children form in the minds from TV or movies. But Legal Eagles puts a face with that image. The children realize a real person is inside that uniform.”
Since October is Anti-bullying Month Thursday’s program will focus on topics that Legal Eagles discussed throughout the course of the program’s existence. However, Falvo said presenters will also focus on new issues and awareness of bullying and other cyber-bullying.
“Hopefully, we can help students in these two schools to see that bullies should not ever have the power to define us as individuals,” he said. Although Legal Eagles hasn’t been active the past two years, Falvo said he’s welcoming the opportunity to revisit the two schools.
“With the interest that was expressed, we decided to come together for a ‘reunion’ and talk to the students about issues that have become major epidemics in our society that carry over into our schools,” he said.
So far as the possibility of rejuvenating the Legal Eagles program, Falvo said for now it is a one-day gig.
“We are very grateful for the interest in Legal Eagles by the students, the teachers, the administrators and the parents. As long as there is interest, we cannot or will not ignore schools that invite us in periodically. It is very humbling and it is very much an honor to be asked back,” he said.
Falvo said the program was successful because of its presenters. However, Nevling credited Falvo for the program’s success.
“He was the sweat and backbone of the program. He was the one who put in the hours and the time and performed the grunt work. We just showed up and had a good time with the kids,” said Nevling, noting the program earned a lot of recognition over the years.
Morris added, “Mark was the sole creator of the Legal Eagles program, and he served as a one-man committee overseeing its growth and its overwhelming success. He scheduled all of the events, publicized and promoted the program, raised the funds for it, donated his own money to it when funds were short and even provided transportation for presenters on many occasions. He rightly deserved the credit for the program . . . period.”