The scene… The class gathered around a chalk outline, blood splattered across the ground, hair fibers and fingerprints providing evidence for analysis. Community partners walking students through evidence collection. Students engaging in the investigative process and evidence collection with community partners, following historical clues in the form of primary and secondary sources. This is only a small glimpse into the life of a Public Safety student in our lab.
In addition to crime scene analysis, students will walk through history in order to examine the foundation of our rights, the creation of laws, and the agencies tasked with public safety. Students will turn a critical eye on current events using history to provide context and connections. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of effective communication and interpersonal skills, strong academic skills, problem-solving, safety, and the use of technology.
Public safety begins with understanding civic duty and working to better the community as a whole. Local law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, and other community partners will be a part of the classroom in order to bring real-world experience and insight into the topics and themes being discussed. Through projects, students will learn about civic duties, rights, criminal procedure, and how laws are made.
The Public Safety Lab will prepare students for success in the high school public safety pathway. Careers in this pathway include those in corrections, probation, law enforcement, military service, and fire science.
Cherokee Bingham grew up in the Central Valley and knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. She graduated from California State University, Fresno in 2009 with a B.A. in English and a Preliminary Teaching Credential. Cherokee is thankful that Madera Unified took a chance on her as a first-year teacher back in 2010 and continued to help her grow as an educator. Cherokee is now entering her 10th-year of teaching at Mad TEC. She made the difficult decision to leave Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School as an ELA and AVID Excel teacher but is excited and passionate about the work being done at Mad TEC. Outside of school, Cherokee can be seen reading (she loves a good fiction novel, though “good” is subjective), traveling (she loves to stop and explore along the way), attending concerts, or spending time with her puppy.