"Courts in Schools" Teaches Students About Life Choices
Sep 27, 2013 at 6:56 PM CST
Sep 27, 2013
By Christian von Preysing
This morning Martin High School students watched a live hearing and sentencing of convicted criminals in the Webb County Court system -- hopefully a powerful experience to help guide them on the right track.
The charge for one defendant was burglary -- a conviction with a two-year sentence, suspended in lieu of four years probation.
In front of hundreds of students at Martin High School, Webb County Judge Becky Palomo spoke to students about the real consequences of crime.
For the 20-year-old defendant, heroin was a factor – a habit he started at 14. He said he hit rock bottom and his addiction contributed to his crime.
Staying away from drugs and gangs is a path Palomo wants students to follow. Palomo grew up in the neighborhood and knows what kind of obstacles students face.
"I faced the same challenges that you perhaps face today,” said Palomo. “But I was determined to go to college and become successful.”
Judge Palomo is one of a number of judges that goes into local schools to teach kids the consequences of bad choices and bad company.
The “Courts in Schools” program is a trend that started in Laredo and is now being followed in other cities around the state.