We have continuing coverage on a peer program we first told you about a month ago. Hirschi High School's Peer Court Program is being called a success.
Court is in session on the Hirschi campus. Myra Weeks, Program Coordinator of Wichita County Teen Court comments, "They are experiencing what it's like to be a part of the deliberation process and having to come to a consensus. That is a skill they will be able to use on into their education on into their future."
Weeks says the teen court program is a creative option in disciplining. Weeks adds teens sentencing other teens is working incredibly well. "When a student comes in and says I have a hardship that prevents me of being able to get from point A to point B. These students are saying what a minute, we get from point A to point B too. We see you in the hallway and know that you don't necessarily have that problem." And getting to the root of the problem is where it is at. Weeks says students who have gone through peer court are starting to change their behavior around campus and in the community. "If it can be handled at the school level before it becomes a criminal offense, then it would be much better to create a responsible student thus a responsible citizen. We can educate them on how the behavior was inappropriate and what would have been a better option."
Students involved with the program are excited with the outcome so far. Devaki and Magdalena, Hirschi students who sit on the Teen Peer Court Jury comment, "It's better that we know the kids. Maybe we know the student is a straight a student but that just slipped out of their mouth, so it's really beneficial. It helps the kids a lot. Instead of getting into to more trouble, with the consequences we have it teaches them something and it's something for us to do that's really great."
Weeks says the goal is to help each and every student succeed. "We are here to make sure they are successful. We want them in school and we want them engaged."