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Halifax County commissioners today honored two students for their accomplishments in the recent North Carolina Teen Court Summit in Concord.

A resolution by the board also recognized the entire teen court program, which began in March of 2013.

The resolution particularly honors Kaileb Harrison who was recognized as the best defense attorney and Sydney David, who was recognized as the best prosecuting attorney at the summit.

“This is a first, this is historic,” presiding teen court Judge Teresa R. Freeman told the board.

“That is outstanding,” board Chair Vernon Bryant said.

The resolution notes that Halifax County Resident Superior Court Judge Brenda G. Branch, when she was a district court judge, started the court on March 1, 2013 through funding from a grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission. Teen court is currently funded through the Halifax County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and the leadership of Chairwoman Stephanie Smith and Freeman.

“The Halifax County Teen Court offers a unique opportunity for diversion from the traditional

court process while ensuring accountability for delinquent acts,” the resolution says. “By actively participating in various roles within the judicial system, our students gain valuable insights and skills that empower them to become responsible citizens.”

The program, the resolution says, fosters ongoing engagement with prosocial peers and activities, contributing to positive youth development. “The Halifax County Teen Court program provides an alternative approach to juvenile justice, offering participants the opportunity to engage in the judicial process while promoting accountability and personal growth.”

The mock court trial competitions, in which the local students participated, offer hands-on experiences, and help students develop critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills essential for success in both academic and professional endeavors, the document said.

The students at the summit, the resolution said, “showcased their legal acumen.”