Students hand out penalties

Teen Court come and participate in a real life situation deciding on penalties to give to troubled teens

An individual, convicted of a crime, is sitting, clinging onto the words in which the jurors prepare to reach a consensus and disclose on a punishment decided for the individual. A minor’s fate decided by another teenager is what club, Teen Court focuses on. 

“It’s really good for the people that want to go into law, but it’s also an amazing experience for people that don’t,” co-president and senior Kylee Engelke said. The club gives people the opportunity to let people experience what it feels like going into a real trial in which members of the club get to decide a real punishment in which the guilty follow through. 

“It’s like a real case, in which the jury has the opportunity to question the individual who is charged with the crime,” Engelke continued. When a member enters a court, they must first go through a small security check before they can move on. From there are several positions that you may have the opportunity to be, options ranging from jury to a judge. 

“The judge starts everything off asking the individual what is their name and stuff, and there are scripts that you can follow to assist you in your position,” Engelke further explained. In which it serves to alleviate any intimidation factors that anyone might feel. 

“You give them a punishment that is likely to be community service hours or writing letters,” co-president and senior Tayler Dale pointed out. Punishments also include going on jury duty for a few cases. 

“It’s kinda to help better the individual and make them understand that there are communities to help make them a better citizen of the community,” Dale explained. The outcome of the cases is in hopes of restoring justice in the community that will hopefully improve one’s character. 

“I’ll be there for every court date and anyone who wants to come can come” Dale clarified as Teen Court have meetings every one or two times a month. However, this year, Teen Court is looking into setting up mock trials at school to help people learn more.  

“I can’t think of a better way to gain an understanding about the legal and court system,” club sponsor and U.S. history teacher Paul Kreutz excitedly said. Especially for people interested in any law career as it is an experience that not everyone gets to see. You are put into a real life criminal case and it useful to add to a resume. 

“It’s really great for networking and is very hands on as you are not always just watching,” Kreutz further clarified. There are a diverse set of cases that the club goes through. Cases ranging from shoplifting to even sometimes assault cases. It is also an opportunity to gain easy service hours through participation in the courthouses. 

The club is hoping to expand and recruit more members, in hopes of entering a larger courthouse room. Those interested may go to room C209 for more information.