COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Richland County Sheriff Department’s Youth Arbitration Program conducted “Operation Clean Bus” on Saturday at the South Carolina Transportation Division.
Students who have received sanctions through the Youth Arbitration Program cleaned the interiors and exteriors of public school buses.
Operation Clean Bus, which was developed by Berkeley County’s Arbitration Program, gives student offenders an alternative in their efforts to clear their juvenile record, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
Students participating in Operation Clean Bus have received sanctions for such criminal acts as disturbing schools by engaging in fighting, petty larceny, assault or telephone or e-mail harassment. These examples of the misdemeanor charges are heard by the Youth Arbitration Program in an arbitration conference.
Sheriff Lott stated that the Youth Arbitration Program started as a partnership between the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Juvenile Justice, School Districts Richland One, Richland Two and Lexington District Five as a diversionary program for first-time, non-violent student offenders charged with a misdemeanor.