STRAWBERRY, AR (KAIT) – High school kids across Region 8 get the same basic education. Classes in math, science, history, and English are required to graduate. Several schools offer college courses, fun courses, and classes that are specialized.
At Hillcrest High School in Lawrence County students are getting the opportunity to learn about criminal justice from a man who has worked in law enforcement for a decade.
Lawrence County Sheriff's Deputy James Price is teaching four classes of intro to criminal justice.
"I'm used to being on patrol and taking care of calls not in a classroom teaching kids," said Price.
"It's brought a lot of excitement to the district. I hear things like 'cool program'," said Hillcrest Superintendent Greg Crabtree.
"I was really excited to get a new program because we've never had anything like this," said senior Samantha Blevins.
After losing their home economics program students helped the school choose this course.
"I chose that elective because it's a new program and I've always watched it on TV like CSI," said Blevins.
Crabtree said they applied for a start up grant and received up to $37,000 to buy equipment.
"Some of the equipment that we're ordering is duty belts and radios so they'll get a hands-on feel of what it's like to be a police officer," said Price.
Those who are already enrolled seem to really enjoy it and are apparently getting a lot out of the course.
"They have a lot of questions. It shows a lot of interest in the course and everything we do on a daily basis," said Deputy Price.
Deputy Price hopes the classes will help encourage some students to pursue a career in law enforcement when they graduate.
"I hope I get to learn how to work some of the stuff and maybe after I graduate I might want to do something like that," said Blevins.
"We need younger people that are more involved in law enforcement and it gives them a better understanding of how the law works," said Deputy Price.