LA MIRADA – Typically, when La Mirada High School students come together in the annual Youth in Government program, they often propose a new city program of some kind. But not this year. This group of 19 youngsters – five of whom were elected as “mock” council members and the other 14 who were staff – decided to look inward and proposed two programs dealing with their own school. They proposed expansion of teen counseling and a new teen court program. The teen court would provide another avenue for disciplinary intervention by having student offenders “sentenced” by their peers. “We wanted to have some kind of program that would target at-risk youth to bring them up to our level,” said junior Sonal Singh, who played the role of city manager. The latter would range from one-hour detention to up to 40 hours of community service. The students also recommended increasing awareness of the services of Straight Talk, a counseling organization, by having representatives on campus more often and publicizing it more. This year’s ideas of a teen court and expanded teen counseling were supported by city and school officials. “They have great possibilities,” said La Mirada High School principal Don Jones, who added that he thought both were quite possible. “These are great programs,” said Mayor Pete Dames said. “I only hope we see these programs before us and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.” firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Singh said teen court would allow some student offenders to be questioned, judged and sentenced by a jury of their peers. She said the goal was to create links between students, teachers and parents, as well as offenders. It would be a “collaborative effort to reduce youth crime and disobedience and encourage offenders to accept responsibility for their action,” she said. Students would be referred to the teen court for minor problems, but not for drugs or weapons violations, Singh said. Student jurors would listen to a student prosecutor and student defense attorney and then, by majority vote, would recommend a sentence.