School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Chicago District Adds Scandal on Police Torture to Curriculum

By The Associated Press — September 05, 2017 1 min read
Anthony Holmes, left, and Darrell Cannon, victims of torture by the former Police Commander Jon Burge, speak at a news conference in Chicago, on Aug. 28, where it was announced that Chicago Public Schools students will be taught about the police torture scandal that has dogged the city and the police department. Listening at right is Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool.

A police-brutality scandal that remains one of the most shameful episodes in Chicago’s history is about to become a topic taught to public school students.

The Chicago school system announced last week that it had launched a pilot program in six schools last year in which students were taught about police torture inflicted on African-American suspects by a group of detectives under the command of former Police Commander Jon Burge from the 1970s until the early 1990s.

The story of what happened—the dozens of men who were tortured into confessing crimes they didn’t commit—will be part of the curriculum for every 8th grader and high school freshman in the district. The rollout comes more than two years after the City Council approved an ordinance that called for the city to pay $5.5 million in reparations to the torture victims, issue a formal apology, provide other benefits such as free tuition to the victims and their families, and teach students about the scandal.

A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 2017 edition of Education Week as Chicago District Adds Scandal on Police Torture to Curriculum

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