BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany students in Detective Zack Allman’s Criminology class did more than listen to lectures and take tests this semester. These students spent the semester researching and preparing to create a law in the state of West Virginia against revenge pornography. Currently, the law is in place at 27 states, making the mission of this project “Let’s Be 28.”
Pictured: Cameron Deitch, Brigit Andrewsh, Angelica Darling and Detective Zack Allman.
“College, in my opinion, is more than just learning from a book, it’s about learning your own capabilities,” Allman said. “I informed them if they were willing to take on this project, I would provide an audience at the end of the semester for them to present to.”
The audience Allman is referring to consisted of West Virginia Senator Ryan Ferns, Marshall County Prosecutor Rhonda Wade and West Virginia Delegate Joe Canestrero.
Allman, an instructor in criminology at Bethany and a detective in the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, came up with the idea for his class creating a law based on his experiences in the field. Being a Deputy Sheriff for over ten years, Allman specializes in sex crimes and crimes against children. He has worked a few cases where women wanted to indict their spouse on posting inappropriate pictures of them. Because West Virginia does not have a law against this type of crime, he was unable to help.
“I wanted to show them the power they have when you couple a good education with hard work,” he added. “They have the power to change injustices in their lives and communities.”
In order for the students to present their research to the chosen professionals, each student had to write a research paper on revenge pornography and present their research to the whole class. Every presentation provided a unique perspective on the law, which helped to create the final presentation.
The three Bethany students who were selected to be the presenters included Brigit Andrewsh, Angelica Darling and Cameron Deitch. Each of these students were given a specific task in leading the presentation in front of the professional audience.
After giving the “Let’s Be 28” presentation on May 3, the audience in attendance asked numerous questions regarding different aspects of the law. Each question posed about the law had an answer that the students were prepared for. As a result, Senator Ferns, who also sits on the Senate Judiciary, asked for a copy of the research and a draft of the law.
The students impressed Ferns so much that he asked Allman to accompany Andrewsh, Darling and Deitch to Charleston, West Virginia, in January 2017 to present the law that was constructed to the Senate.
“Imagine that, an ordinary criminal justice class at Bethany College will change West Virginia State Law forever making history,” Allman concluded.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.