Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 23, 2013

Judge challenges Webber students

MT. VERNON — Students at Webber Township High School on Tuesday were given good advice by Judge David Overstreet on seven reasons to leave a party.

This presentation went hand in hand with the program at Webber called Positive Behavior Intervention Support. The program has been in effect for five years and is ran by Betty Riley. It is a program that helps the students achieve positive behavior in their school career and in everyday life.

Overstreet began the presentation with a song that seemed to be well known by the students and quickly went into why the program was started by the Illinois Judges Association.

Overstreet stated judges feel a lot of frustration when seeing young people come into their court rooms.

“We as judges feel like coroners and pathologists instead of judges. You have heard of preventive medicine. This is our effort at preventative law.” said Overstreet.

Overstreet placed students in four categories: Students that are drug/ alcohol free, students undecided on drug/alcohol use, students that must suffer consequences before they change their behavior, and repeat offenders.

The first reason Overstreet discussed on why to leave a party is death. It was stated that one-third of deaths in the 15-20 age category are due to motor vehicle crashes and 36 percent are drug and alcohol related.

The second reason he touched on was criminal record. Overstreet shared in many cases where people believe that what they do as juvenile won’t follow them into their adult life.

This point was made clear with a story of a young man who got in trouble at a party and seven years after the charges it kept him from starting his dream career of becoming a FBI agent. This was due to his criminal record as a juvenile.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.” said Overstreet.

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