Chicago public schools unveiled their plan to teach 8th and 10th grade students about a police torture case as part of a 2015 reparations package, the school system announced Monday.
The lesson plan, known as the Burge Reparation Curriculum, will focus on former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and the accusations that he tortured black men to get false confessions from them during the ’80s and ’90s, reports ABC7 Chicago.
As part of the lesson plans, 8th graders are given the assignment of writing an opinion piece on the best way for the police and community to have a better relationship. Tenth graders have the assignment of making a torture memorial.
“Only by facing history directly and honestly can we heighten understanding of this dark chapter and increase our ability to confront its challenges,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.
The curriculum comes as part of 2015 reparations package for the torture and forced confessions committed by Burge and the rogue cops he led. Black leaders, former survivors of the torture, and civil rights leaders helped Chicago Public Schools leaders put the plan together.
“This curriculum has never been about police bashing, never ever, ever,” said Chicago Board of Education President Frank Clark. “It’s only to deal with what’s happened in the past and what’s happening now.”
The superintendent of the Chicago Police Department released a video for the new curriculum that students will watch at the beginning of the lesson.
“What happened was wrong,” Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Eddie Johnson said in the video. “As your police superintendent, I condemn it. My promise to you all is that any and all torture is in our past; it will not be our future. I also want you to know that there are countless moments of police courage and professionalism, and they are far more frequent than the moments of excessive force.”
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