Teen Court offers alternatives to being turned over to the Juvenile Authorities
Teen Court is a diversionary program (made possible by the school system, the D.A.’s Office and the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office) in which students who break school rules are given an opportunity to avoid juvenile court by being tried and sentenced by their peers.
Attorney Rob Lewis often serves as the acting judge. He and assistants from the District Attorney’s Office give the students some very constructive feedback on everything from their courtroom presence—to the deliveries of their arguments and ways to improve before the next case(s).
Chief District Court Judge Brenda Branch stated at a recent session, “You are the beacon for District 6,” as she emphasized the fact that the Teen Court program in Bertie County Schools is being used as the model for developing like program in surrounding counties. The program in Bertie is the only one of its kind in the East.
Teen Court encourages collaborations and decision-making among peers, teaches students how to think on their feet and to speak openly to name a few. These skills will take our youth far beyond high school and in later life.
We are very lucky to have this program in Bertie County. A special thank-you goes to Sgt. Bonnie Powell, who is the backbone of this and other very special programs we are able to offer our students from the middle school and both high schools.