A pin drop could be heard in the Wadsworth High School gymnasium Thursday morning after students from the junior and senior classes watched and waited for a judge’s decisions on Court Day.
Wadsworth Municipal Judge Stephen McIlvaine sentenced five drunken-driving offenders at the high school, rather than in his courtroom.
Sitting at a table on a raised platform, McIlvaine treated each defendant as he would have in his courtroom.
They all volunteered to be sentenced in front of the students and were given credit for
community service, McIlvaine said.
“This is the best community service I can think of,” McIlvaine said.
After each sentencing, McIlvaine provided a brief narrative of each case and explained how the law works.
McIlvaine, who has been a judge for 21 years, has been hosting Court Day at Wadsworth High School every other year for the last two decades, he said.
He explained that he has court at the school so students “can make an informed decision” ahead of the spring festivities such as the junior banquet, senior prom and graduation.
“It’s worked well,” McIlvaine said of the program.
Interim business and marketing teacher Dwain Kibler said that he teamed with the judge about the presentation about 20 years ago to bring awareness to students.
Kibler said students are encouraged to ask questions during the program.
“We’ve included in the (school) announcements for juniors and seniors to ask questions,” Kibler said. “This is the most dangerous time of their lives.”
Contact reporter Ashley Fox
at (330) 721-4048