HENDERSON (KYTX) - The Boys and Girls Club of Rusk County, filled this bus with nearly 30 teens to go learn about the local justice system at the Rusk County Court House Wednesday. Barbara Coby is one of them.
"I have never been to a courthouse, but it was very interesting. I found out a lot of what they do, and how they deal with cases."
The trip is part of a program called S.M.A.R.T., which stands for skills mastery and resistance training, and was given a boost from the Rusk County Sheriff's Department and Rusk County Commissioners who last week approved sending drug seizure money to the program.The money funds expenses for trips, food and learning materials. Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price says it is all about nurturing a relationship with area youth.
"To say there isn't a drug problem, or a gang problem is false. It is a problem everywhere."
" To help encourage these students to do the right things - they showed them the inside of a jail cell, arrest reports, and brought them here to the Rusk County Courthouse to learn about justice"
Meggan Starling directs the Boys and Girls Clubs and she says this is the first time they have done something like this. But is already planning for another trip in September.
M.S. "We want them to realize that a jail cell isn't where they want to be"
A message that Barbara says she received clearly.
"I learned that I don't want to be there. They sleep on hard beds and it looks boring"
Boring, and devastating to a person's future, a situation she refuses to let herself get into.