‘We don’t believe in punishment’: Student-led youth court could come to Harrisburg school

By Sean Sauro, PennLive | December 12, 2019

Former Stoneleigh Fellow Gregg Volz is quoted in a PA Post article about expanding youth courts to the Harrisburg School District.

Audrey Dudley presented a scenario: A high school student angry with his teacher lashes out swearing and yelling before standing from his desk, walking to a classroom door and slamming it on his way out into the hallway — slamming it so hard that a glass window in the door shatters.

In a traditional school setting, it’s a scene that would end with discipline, possibly detention or out-of-school suspension. But in Norristown, where Dudley teaches social studies, there is another option. It’s an option that soon could be available at a Harrisburg high school, too.

For six years, Dudley has led Norristown Area High School’s youth court program, which allows students who break certain rules to admit guilt and appear before a jury of their peers. That jury then assigns corrective action plans that take the place of traditional punishments.

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