Photo of the Day: The Big Arrest
Students in 5th and 6th grade at Roosevelt Elementary on Wednesday got a chance to “arrest” one of their teachers.
As part of the Programs Excite Pupils (PEP) program, Roosevelt Principal Rob Greenwood said students come face-to-face with various professions and are immersed in the job, even if for just a few hours. Wednesday’s half day was classes, he said, was the perfect chance to play sleuth for about 140 students trying to find the culprit in a case of a stolen camera from the school’s library. Several parents and staff members assisted and also played the role of assigned witnesses with supplied alibis.
Plover Police Officer Seth Pionke helped set up the exercise, training students to use deductive reasoning, elimination, teamwork and communications skills to gather evidence, interview witnesses and separate fact from theory in their search for the thief.
“We don’t give them suspects,” said Pionke. “We give them a list of witnesses and a main report. Through the witnesses, they have to put together what happened.”
Pionke said the detective work is made as real as possible, but added, “We don’t give away all our secrets.”
Pionke said four suspects, to include Greenwood, were identified and various clues were provided inside the library, including fingerprints, shoe prints, belongings the thief left behind and “blood” evidence left behind where the suspect was injured after tripping. Students were broken into teams and sorted through evidence, motives and alibis, eventually identifying Mrs. (Karen) Stephani as the “thief”.
Stephani feigned innocence before the gymnasium filled with gleeful students, some wearing collared trench coats and fedoras, as she was handcuffed and taken away by 5th grade student Brandon Vlcko.
All students were “deputized” for the day with silver or gold badges supplied by the Plover Police Department.
“This will spark their art of deductive reasoning, problem solving, and really give an insight into what (police officers) do in the community,” Greenwood said. “It helps build that great bridge where students see police officers as helpers and members of the community rather than someone they have to be afraid of.”