TEENS HELD RE­SPON­SI­BLE

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - SALLY CAR­ROLL

Judge John LePage said teens in­volved in the ju­ve­nile drug treat­ment court are re­quired to call in ev­ery day from 3 to 6 a.m. to see if they need to be drug tested that morn­ing from 7 to 8.

The early morn­ings force the teens to set their alarms and call in ev­ery day, to keep them dis­ci­plined, re­spon­si­ble and ac­count­able, he told mem­bers gath­ered at the Repub­li­can Club meet­ing on Oct. 25 at the Pineville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. LePage said he trav­els to McDon­ald County High School on Tues­days for court so the teens don’t miss class. That prac­tice was started by a pre­vi­ous judge and it’s one LePage con­tin­ues to­day. McDon­ald County Schools su­per­in­ten­dent Mark Stan­ton and High School as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal Jeff Wilkie are “a great help to us” in co­or­di­nat­ing ef­forts and lend­ing sup­port, LePage said. Stu­dents who get in trou­ble on school grounds are sus­pended for 180 days. How­ever, LePage said the sit­u­a­tion is re­viewed af­ter 60 days. Hav­ing a teen at home with noth­ing to do and both par­ents work­ing is not the best sit­u­a­tion, LePage said. Though of­fi­cials have to bal­ance the safety of kids who aren’t in trou­ble, sit­u­a­tions need to be revisited and progress mon­i­tored, he said. Those who are part of the pro­gram are held to a higher standard, LePage said.

“We ride herd on the group pretty tight,” he said.

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