Norristown Area High School Youth Court Program Could Expand To Other Pennsylvania Schools
Norristown Area High School youth court program is offering an alternative to traditional punishments that could expand to other schools in Pennsylvania, writes Sean Sauro for the WHYY.
The program has been run for six years by Audrey Dudley, who teaches social studies at Norristown.
It allows students who admit to breaking the rules to appear before a jury of their peers. The jury then determines a corrective action plan that replaces traditional punishments such as detention or suspension.
This could include writing letters of apology or seeking counseling for anger management. However, if the correction plan is not completed, traditional punishments can still be implemented.
The court is based on a concept known as “restorative justice,” said Gregg Volz, a public interest lawyer who pioneered its introduction into Pennsylvania schools.
“We don’t believe in punishment, particularly for kids,” said Volz.
The overall idea is that if the plan set by the jury is followed, the student would realize the gravity of their actions and realize how many people were affected. This would then cause them to think twice before repeating the offense.
Read more about Norristown Area High School youth court program at the WHYY by clicking here.
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