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Truss Visits Forensics Class

Ms. Jacqueline Truss speaks to students in Ms. Maya Schultz's forensic science class.

Students in Ms. Maya Schultz’s Forensic Science class were recently visited by Jacqueline Truss, a former prison guard (as well as a mom to a student in the class!) The visit was an extension of the class’ recent field trip to the Union County Courthouse and Jail. During the trip students got to see court proceedings, talk to judges, lawyers, DEA agents, and sheriff's deputies.  They also had the chance to see how a jail operates during a tour of the Union County Jail.  Ms. Truss was invited in to share her experiences with students and answer questions they didn't have a chance to ask during the field trip.

Truss has worked in prison systems in Washington DC, Georgia, Maryland and on Riker’s Island in New York. Riker’s Island is New York City’s main jail complex with ten jails. She shared many experiences of working with teens and adults in the prison systems. She stressed that while her job was often stressful, it was very important to her to try to make a difference in kids’ lives.

According to Ms. Schultz, the forensic science curriculum covers the application of science in the court of law.  She feels that students often have misconceptions about how our legal system works, especially as it relates to the way science is used in courtrooms. 

Ms. Schultz said, “I hope that students took two things from the presentation Ms. Truss gave along with our courthouse and jail visit: First of all, it's important to make choices that keep you out of the court system.  They saw firsthand court proceedings and what life is like in jail.”

As senior Kevin Keeley summed up in his reflection, "The thing that hit me the hardest was seeing an 18 year-old in jail.  He had already been in there for 10 months and could face up to 9 years.  Jail is not the place for me."

“The second thing I hope students took from this experience is that everyone we met from the prison guards, to the lawyers, to the judges all have a passion for their job. Each one emphasized to students the importance of finding something you are passionate about for your career.  I hope students take to heart the advice given… If you find a passion and tie it into a career, you will never feel you work a day in your life,” said Ms. Schultz.

Ms. Schultz and her students would like to thank Ms. Truss for her visit and sharing her experiences and insight!

Written by: Paula White - Media Specialist
Posted: May 05, 2015 by Paula White

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