School safety monitor teaches crime scene basics at JMC

With a former police detective working in the school, why not invite him to teach some crime scene investigation?

The ExCEL class at John M. Clayton Elementary School has been studying crime-scene forensics, perhaps the ultimate form of problem-solving.

School safety monitor John Justice has not done detective work in about 10 years, but it all came back as he taught fourth- and fifth-graders about different types of evidence: photographs, video, blood ID and DNA samples.

“Everything we can get at a crime scene helps us figure out who the person is,” said Justice, who has taken everything from fingerprints to entire cars for evidence.

Students practiced the precise method of dusting for fingerprints as Justice described past cases from his career.

ExCEL stands for “Exceptional Cognitive Enrichment Learning,” and is an elementary school-level gifted-and-talented program taught by Cindy Isaacs and Dawn Keenan Banks.

By Laura Walter
Staff Reporter