When Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye started her Civic Learning Initiative in 2013, she discovered that little time was devoted to teaching civics in California K-12 public schools, with no plans to bring it back.
A group of five recent graduates share how their civic engagement at a young age prepared them for their next steps in life. All have been involved in youth courts, youth government, and other civic education programs.
Juvenile courts in California are uniquely responsible for the treatment and rehabilitation of young offenders. But increasingly, courts and schools are recognizing the value of keeping students in classrooms and out of the court system altogether.
The Constitutional promise of being tried by a “jury of your peers” is taken to the extreme in peer courts, an alternative approach to the traditional juvenile justice system where teens judge other teens.
As California students from the class of 2017 begin their new journeys many of them will continue on their path to higher education with a solid foundation of civic leadership and community engagement.