The annual youth court conference, sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Court (AOC) and the Washington State Association of Youth Courts, drew about 60 individuals for an exciting and education program. Special Advisor Margaret Fisher opened the meeting with an overview of youth courts. Harmeen Kaur, Outgoing Student President led an engaging ice breaker. What followed was a session reported by many as the most compelling presentation they had ever experienced- on the very current issue of social media safety. Two experts from British Columbia, Darren and Beth Laur of Professional Protection Systems, Incl. described various social media safety challenges and also gave the audience real tools to protect themselves.
Outgoing President Terri Cooper, Coordinator of the Cheney Youth Traffic Court led a concurrent session of youth court coordinators and interested community members on how to establish a youth court and brainstormed solutions to issues facing youth courts today.
Charley Bates from AOC ran the elections for new officers. The officers for 2013 are President J.A of Bothell Youth Court, Student President Elijah Haynes of the Seattle Youth Traffic Court, returning Vice-President Tracey Lassus of Clallam County Youth Court, Student Vice-President Maddie Snowden of Bothell Youth Court, permanent Secretary/Treasurer Susan Goettsch, and Special Advisor Margaret Fisher.
Seattle Police Detective Megan Bruneau and Marie Hoffman of the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network explored myths about what human trafficking is and what can be done about in Washington.
The program concluded with a dynamic presentation by former prosecutor Andrea Jamon and defense attorney Josei Wiggs-Martin on tips for questioning witnesses. Everyone left the conference highly energized, even those students who left home that Saturday morning at 5 a.m. to get to the conference.