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NO. R-296. JOINT RESOLUTION HONORING THE WINDSOR COUNTY YOUTH COURT ON ITS RECEIPT OF THE 2000 VERMONT NEA HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS AWARD.

(J.R.H. 234)

Offered by: Representatives Sweaney of Windsor and Levin of Hartland.

Whereas, a thorough knowledge and appreciation of the judiciary’s role in the United States’ political system is an essential element in a student’s civic education, and

Whereas, facing potential peer review of their offenses can serve as a powerful deterrent to petty youth crime, and

Whereas, these laudable goals prompted Windsor High School social studies instructor Beth Dutton to lead her ninth grade class through a two-year process, developing and proposing legislation, to the Vermont General Assembly for the establishment of the Windsor County Youth Court, and

Whereas, the original student proponents of this exciting and worthy endeavor, Mary Hochstin, Matt Veno, Jolianna Dart, Victoria Mesropian and Shaun Golding, learned a personal lesson in legislative procedure as they persevered for two years, repeatedly journeying to Montpelier to testify in support of this project, and

Whereas, their persistence was rewarded on April 10, 1995 as they sat in the Senate gallery and witnessed final passage of H.41, a bill sponsored by and shepherded through the General Assembly by former Representative Matt Dunne of Hartland, and

Whereas, since the Windsor County Youth Court’s inception, this innovative institution has enabled students, working under the supervision of lawyers Susan Buckholz, Kathleen London and John Campbell, former Judge Joseph Conn and Windsor County Court Diversion, to determine the suitable penalties for local youngsters who have committed minor offenses, and

Whereas, serving on the Windsor County Youth Court which requires the completion of a rigorous training course, or being brought before the court, has educated the participating students about how courts, and more broadly, the criminal justice system functions, and

Whereas, in recognition of the instructive role that the Windsor County Youth Court has served in teaching students their rights and responsibilities as citizens, the Vermont NEA is awarding the Windsor County Youth Court the organization’s 2000 Human and Civil Rights Award, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the teachers, advisors, and most importantly, the current student court officers, including Ian Lord, Kara Lihl, Allyson Burke, Sara Sinclair, Emily Silvester, Rebecca Johnson, Candice Morgan, Michael Barton, Larry Dougher, and Jessica Jones, who have diligently striven to make the Windsor County Youth Court a success, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Beth Dutton at Windsor High School.