A Texoma school is taking a non-traditional approach when it comes to disciplinary action. Hirschi High School is creating the option of teens sentencing other teens in their peer court system.
It is an alternative to traditional sanctions on the Hirschi campus. Dr. Shannon Hill, Assistant Principal comments, "The student is heard better than they've been heard before. The teacher also knows this is going to make a difference with the child's behavior in the classroom." It is the students behavior that Dr. Hill hopes will be changed once gone through the Charlye O. Society Peer Court Program. She says, "We are trying to be proactive and catch some behaviors on campus. Maybe we can do something other than traditional out of school detention or Saturday school. We want to try something that is non-traditional."
Hirschi's Peer Court Program will serve as a youth empowerment program helping students who have admitted their wrong doing, and now are taking it up among other students. The students will have the roles of a judge, jury members, and attorneys. Student Ashley Washington is ready to help out her fellow classmates. Ashley comments, "I would love to get any of my friends out of trouble or anyone else. I would feel great about getting them out of trouble and getting them on the right track." Dr. Hill hopes the peer court program will prevent students who may be committing minor school offenses from becoming involved in more serious offenses down the road.
The peer court program will be conducted during lunch hour two days a week, just so students will not miss any class time. Hirschi's Charlye O. Society Peer Court Program is funded through The Wichita County Teen Court.
Hirschi High School tells Newschannel 6 the program was named appropriately after Charlie O. Farris, a prominent civil rights legal pioneer from the area.
School leaders want parents who are concerned with the program to call the school and let them know, that way the peer court program will not be offered to your child.