Teen Court in Session


Teen Court is Now in Session

STUDENT GOVERNMENT: A new year a new start for Teen Court!

By Tyler Jung | The Mirror Staff
September 12, 2017

Court is now in session! Teen Court begins on Wednesday, September 14 in the Lecture Hall.

Teen Court is a legal program for teenagers who have committed their first misdemeanor crime.

Participants will be able to hear real-life cases and interact with a Van Nuys Superior Court Judge and a justice from the Court of Appeals. Some participants serve as jurors who decide on the verdict.

For the past eight years, Mrs. Emma Martinez has hosted this program at Van Nuys High School to provide legal experience to students.

“The parent and their child have the decision to to choose whether to go to Teen Court or juvenile detention,” says Mrs. Martinez. Teen Court provides an alternate way to deal with the consequences without facing a possible mark on the teen’s permanent record.

The verdict in each case will determine punishment, which can be either a written document or community service.

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is involved in the program. “JROTC acts as the bailiff, and we select students to act as a jury, swear in the jury, and give a brief overview of the case,” explains Maya Bocanegra, the bailiff commander of last year’s Teen Court. JROTC also monitors the attendance and gives an overview of the case in the beginning.

All students are welcome to attend Teen Court, but seats are limited and are first come first served.

Meetings occur once every school month on Wednesdays from 3:05 – 4:10 pm. The last meeting for the school year will be held in May 2017.

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