Kids & Court TV Present Forensics Curriculum
the most horrible thing that can ever happen to a parent. It
changes your life. You face your fears like you never faced
them before. You have to become proactive–do something,
anything!–or you’ll get totally defeated by it.”
speaker is Mark Klaas, the father of Polly Klaas, the 12 year-old
girl who was kidnapped and killed in the mid-1990’s. Mr.
Klaas has become the leading spokesman and activist in the field
of preventing such tragedies–and catching and punishing
the perpetrators in cases where the crime could not be prevented.
He formed the Klaas Kids Foundation which, in partnership with
Court TV, has already digitally fingerprinted and created photo
files of over 8,000 children around the country.
Court TV’s popular Mobile Investigative Unit has wrapped
up a 20-City nationwide tour at the Children’s Museum
of Manhattan by unveiling an unprecedented high school forensics
curriculum, created in partnership with Klaas Kids. “While
the level of science education in this country is unsatisfactory,
forensic education is practically nonexistent,” said Tom
Bohan, a spokesman from the American Academy of Forensic Science,
which played a significant part in developing the curriculum.
“So this is a significant step in the right direction,
something we’re really proud to be a part of.”
curriculum, called “truly high-class,” by Bohan,
indeed includes the teaching of the latest scientific developments,
including DNA analysis, fingerprinting, analysis of hair samples,
footprint casting, fiber comparisons, digital imaging, and all
other imaginable avenues of investigative techniques and forensic
technology. It comes with high quality instructional materials
as well. But how to get the word out to science teachers?
is our task,” said Dr. Gerald Wheeler from the National
Science Teachers Association. “We are holding a Forensic
Education Conference on October 25-27 for high school science
teachers from all over the country. We have 53,000 members devoted
to teaching science. And this wonderful new curriculum will
be our featured topic.”
is the ideal time to embark on this new curriculum,” said
Klaas. “The current rash of high-profile child kidnappings
has brought increased attention to this national problem–and
it indeed demands the formation of creative partnerships between
private and governmental institutions. So the involvement of
a major media corporation–such as Court TV–is huge.”
attention leads to better education,” added Klaas. “In
fact, we are already seeing some results. I submit to you that
without the focus upon the Van Damme, Elizabeth Short, and Samantha
Runyon cases, we would not have found those two young teenage
girls alive in California. The Sheriff’s Department there
simply would not have known what to do, at least not at the
incredibly high level they operated in that case.”
So it’s quite clear: “better education will inevitably
lead to greater safety.”#
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