Did you know that the United States’ first law enforcement-focused curricula high school calls EaDo home? When current principal Carol Mosteit took the helm in 2004 she ushered in exciting changes, including renaming the school the High School for Law and Justice (HSLJ) (formerly the High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice) and moving to a new location at the intersection of Coyle and Scott streets.
The campus sits a few blocks from I-45, its sleek glass and metal exterior hinting at the high-tech educational tools inside. What began as a diversity recruitment program for the Houston Police Department, the High School for Law and Justice (HSLJ) is now a magnet school for grades 9-12 that prepares students for careers in law enforcement and criminal justice. As a proudly minority-majority school in the Houston Independent School District, HSLJ currently serves approximately 465 students from across Houston, with capacity for up to 750.
Every student has an assigned laptop, which is used to reference course materials and textbooks and to turn in assignments. Leaning heavily on real-life field experience to inform the courses and curriculum, all career and tech teachers at HSLJ are retired police officers and probation officers, and many are HSLJ graduates.
Practical advice from teachers helps students apply their education in real-world scenarios, as HSLJ works with community partners to offer hands-on experiences in the local community. The high school participates in a co-op employment program with the Houston Emergency Communications Center, where students answer live 3-1-1 calls for the city. Another partnership with University of Houston Law Center allows third year law students to teach street law and court systems, and the high school’s 11th graders participate in an F.B.I. mentorship program once a month.
Extracurricular activities like Teen Court with Judge Marshall and JROTC also provide students with opportunities to develop leadership and to give back to the community as they prepare for a career in public service.
The magnet school heavily encourages students to pursue higher education, with 78 percent of each graduating class going on to attend college. Alumni of the HSLJ go on to careers with various sheriff’s offices, as successful HPD officers and jailors, as chiefs of police, as HEC Center employees, and as judges and paralegals.
For more information on the High School for Law and Justice, call 713-867-5100 visit the school’s website, or watch the video below.