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May 1, 2014

Local teens learn about insects' effect on crime scenes

Advanced criminal justice class offers career exploration

(Continued)

Jordan said his students are often first drawn to the field through popular television shows like “Criminal Minds” and the “CSI” franchise. And while he is glad students are interested in criminal justice, he said it is important for them to understand these careers glorified on the big and small screen require a comprehensive education.

“That’s great if you want to do that, but it takes science and math and English,” he said he tells his students. “And they don’t get it all done in 44 minutes.”

Brady Barber, a senior at Lewis Cass Jr./Sr. High School enrolled in Jordan’s criminal justice 2 class, said he was first inspired to find out more about the discipline from films and TV shows. He said he admires the hands-on aspect of the class’ curriculum.

“It isn’t just sit down and read out of the book the whole time,” Barber said. “Book work can get a little boring. This spices up the class a little bit.”

He added he plans to continue his criminal justice education after high school to pursue a career as an agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

And while he likely won’t be searching for fly eggs in cadavers as a DEA agent, he said he is grateful for the learning experience across all aspects of the field.

“Even though I’m not interested in this per se, it still gives me an idea of what criminal justice people go through,” he said.

The career center is wrapping up its first school year with a second-level criminal justice class. Jordan said there are 22 seniors currently enrolled in the program, most of whom are going on to post-secondary programs or the military. More than 60 students have signed up for criminal justice classes for next year, he added, based on current enrollment figures.

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