Beverly students learn basics of criminal justice

February 23, 2017 by  

A six-week elective program is currently underway at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in Beverly where middle school students are becoming criminal trial attorneys, forensic experts, and police detectives.

The eighth-grade classroom at the school has been transformed into a crime scene, a lab for forensic evidence, and a court room. This is thanks to the work of its instructors, a retired homicide detective from Los Angeles, and a retired Los Angeles deputy district attorney.

Former Deputy District Attorney Suzanne Wright, from Los Angeles, said that she simplified a course she had taught at the School of Law at UCLA, where students learn how the Bill of Rights are exercised in a criminal courtroom. She added that students learn more and at a deeper level when they are more involved in their learning than just reading about it from books.

Paul Wright, Suzanne’s husband and a former Detective Supervisor for the Los Angeles Police Department, shares his decades of experience with the students. They dust for fingerprints, run experiments to learn the details of blood splatter analysis, and discover how circumstantial evidence leads to an argument at a trial.

Rebecca Rugo, the class’s teacher, commented that courses such as this are a great way to bring the community into the classroom.

It is also the sort of event that may use a local print company to help provide some of the necessary materials.