The Battle Over Teaching Chicago's Schools About Police Torture and Reparations

In response to the discovery that Chicago police officer Jon Burge led a "Midnight Crew" torturing mostly Black men to coerce criminal confessions, the city council's agreement to make cash reparations to the victims included a mandated curriculum in public schools to teach high school students the truth of what happened. Critics called the curriculum, "Reparations Won," anti-police propaganda. But a rare and lengthy observation of one class' experience showed its effects on youth. Not only did they learn the history, but they also learned the possibility of change in the face of systemic injustice.

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