The HHS Constitution Project team advanced Friday afternoon to state competition, it was announced.

Students trained in three components — crime scene investigators, journalists and lawyers — applied to join the program. They competed against four teams Oct. 10 at the Greene County Public Safety Center in Springfield and Monday schools traveled to the Texas County Justice Center in Houston, where a trial was held that brought all the teams together again.

Each local team worked an hour or two nearly daily for the last month under the mentorship of local volunteers who are skilled in their fields.

Houston’s team will compete for scholarships and a state championship — the Freedom Cup — against School of the Osage in mid-Missouri next month.

How it works: Originally founded in Houston in 2011 by former associate circuit judge Doug Gaston, the Constitution Project gives high school students a hands-on opportunity to investigate and report about a mock crime scene and eventually try “suspects” in a mock trial. The program took a break during the Covid years.

After tuning up in their home communities, participating schools’ teams are pitted in a competitive environment until a state champion is determined. A kick-off event was held earlier at the state capitol, where participants had the opportunity to meet state leaders and the head of agencies, such as the colonel of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.


•Crime Scene Investigation: Marietta Burton, Shaun Buck, Carli Cummins, Elliot Greiner, Tyler Kelly and Owen Wells. (Mentor Jim McNiell)

•Journalism: Maddison Holt, Christian Royer, Lee Skaggs, Stuart Smith and Hudson Volk. (Mentors Isaiah Buse and Brad Gentry)

•Trial Advocacy: Brody Adkison, Adyson Dailing, Arianna Flores, Gracyn McNiell and Riley Reed. (Mentor Sean Smith)

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply