Inspired on discussions with the parents-teachers associations, the Teen Court Program has been established to allow the young to deal with issues that bother them. With this program, the school initiates an establishment of a court where teenagers are the judges, prosecutors, and defendants handling cases of fellow teenagers. This court shall handle minor offenses, usually those which are done inside the school premises. Thus, the teen court will affect the school as a whole.
The students who are taking part and those for which the teen court will be imposed upon as well as the officials and parents of the students will be involved in the program. The Teen Court Program will be established with the student council. The participants will be required to attend a one-day seminar with the Juvenile Division Parole and Probation Center to familiarize themselves with court procedures. After the seminar, a selection will be done as to who shall be jurors, court clerks and bailiffs.
Others will be given assignments as attorneys from which cases can be ascribed and consulted with. They will be manning case proceedings in such a way that adults do them. The only difference here is the age. The Teen Court Program will take of next year, beginning with the seminar slated at the Juvenile Division Parole and Probation Center on January 15, 2008. It will be followed by a series of qualifying tests and interviews to divide responsibilities among the members of the group.
Primarily, the members of the teen court will come from the student council. However, non-members of the student council can likewise serve as volunteers. Should they aspire for positions, they will be asked to attend a pre-set seminar and go through he same tests and interviews. If they are volunteering as support assistants, all they need to do is be a bona fide student of the institution to be able to apply and qualify. Adults such as parents may also volunteer for administrative functions such as billing, management, and planning.
The Teen Court Program is expected to improve the juvenile justice system in the school. It will also upgrade the treatment on minor offenders in the community. With it, minors are arrested and tried on the court in front of a teenage representation. Ultimately, it allows minors to be the leaders and defendants of justice in their own right. The school decided to create the Teen Court Program to allow teenagers to deal with their own issues.
Believing that adults may lack or have no understanding of the issues surrounding teenagers given the difference in age and activities, the school has taken this step. It also creates leaders, and allows teenagers to take part in such important activities. The juvenile court program will proceed on offenses that are considered minor to be taken to the non-juvenile courts. These offenses include minor fights where there are no casualties, stealing, all forms of cheating, and other misbehaviors.
The program is beneficial at that it allows offenders to be tried according to a due process instead of being confined with the judgments of the local school board (made up of adults); the peers of offenders will be able to testify and give their sides, and learn lessons as well. School officials will also be less burdened by these minor offenses, and in general the community benefits because the minors being tried in these juvenile courts are handled accordingly and receives no exposure to real criminals. It has also been found that juvenile courts are cheaper to operate.