Superior Court Judge Wade Padgett is taking to the podium again to explain to teens and their parents the consequences of breaking the law.
He's leading a free public session of his Teenage Years 101 seminar next week at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on William Few Parkway in Evans.
The session for parents of teens will be held 7 p.m. Monday. The teen session will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
Four years ago, as Columbia County chief magistrate, Padgett began providing the seminars to inform parents and teens about the consequences of their actions and how the law applies to them. Since then, he has given the presentation more than 100 times throughout the region and state.
The seminar includes information about sex, Internet dangers, alcohol and drugs, driving offenses and the potential crimes and punishments for all of them. Separate sessions are held for parents and teens to eliminate the awkwardness of open discussions.
"The presentation is constantly being updated with new, more relevant, more current events," Padgett said.
When he started the program in 2006, Padgett said, he saw an overwhelming number of cases involving underage sex. Since then, underage sex cases have lessened while other problems have risen.
One common question iinvovles texting and cell phone use while driving.
"That is new law that became effective July 1, 2010, " Padgett said. "It says that no one can text and drive, but that children under the age of 18 cannot even talk (on a mobile phone) and drive."
Padgett also addresses the physical and legal dangers of emerging drugs, such as K2, also known as "spice."
"It is synthetic marijuana," Padgett said, adding that the drug became illegal in Georgia on July 1. "They are calling it an incense product, but people are smoking it. There have been several articles about people having horrific reactions to K2."
Padgett said he reduced the number of public seminars because the parents and youth interested in the information had received it. But as a new generation of teens comes of age, there is a need for more public presentations.
No reservations are needed, but seating is first-come, first-served. The church can seat about 400 people.
For information, visit online at www.teenageyears101.com, e-mail Teenageyears101@gmail.com or call (706) 821-2835.
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