BAM…Goes the Gavel

By Jimmy McDade

Crack! The gavel at the Erie County Court of Common Pleas Sixth Judicial District rings for the juveniles entering court. Peer Jury, an activity that has been going on for five years and, as Mr. Humphreys said, "It’s been a very successful time." Mr. Humphreys Social Studies, the man behind the action, offers Peer Jury through his teaching of Criminology. This opportunity gives students the "on hands real deal" experience.

The students are selected based on their personal interest, grades and how they conduct themselves in school as well as what they do for the school. As for the Court itself it requires the students to complete an application.

 Peer Jury and organization make up of students in 12th grade. This group meets and decides the punishments for young adults in the Erie area. They deal with a wide range of offenses, from very big to minute, such as federal offenses to under aged drinking for those 17 years old and younger.

The FLB students involved in the program are representatives and join together with other local representatives from different schools in the court house and sit in a sort of "panel". It takes place every Wednesday, October through November.

Since Peer Jury is a great success, the Court has decided they want to try to incorporate it during the spring!

Fort LeBoeuf has two student representatives already on their way to give their opinions, both seniors: Abby Rose and Nate Conti. Abby Rose is "excited but nervous" about going to actually be a part of Court. She also thinks of this as a "learning experience" for her future especially since she has never been to a real trial.

Nate Conti is also excited but says, "It’s something new and wants to understand how the Court system works and what is done." He finds it a more of a "Privilege" than a learning experience.

This activity provides students and the county with help; the students receive the knowledge and experience as well as the county gaining a better understanding of student perspectives.


Have you been trying to make a difference in school and in your county?

Well here is a offer you cannot refuse, Peer jury! Located at Erie County Court of common pleas sixth judicial district. This will guarantee:

       A learning experience
 Chance to meet local schools
 Help out our county
 To understand consequences
 See how court systems work
 Chance to show yourself
 To have a voice, amongst peers