Two Chicago public elementary schools will be part of a summer pilot program aimed at fostering positive relationships between youth and police.
The city of Chicago and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBEL) are teaming up to bring the program to Jesse Sherwood Elementary School on the South Side and Spencer Elementary Technology Academy on the West Side, according to a news release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.
"We all share the same goal of ensuring every community in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety, and we are best positioned to achieve that goal when everyone works together from a foundation of trust," Emanuel said in a statement. "This teaching tool is a great example of how law enforcement is partnering with other organizations and residents to help build that foundation from an early age."
Volunteers from the Chicago Police Department will instruct the program, which will start July 1 at both schools and involve NOBEL's "law literacy and 'Know Your Rights' curriculum."
Students will learn about "their constitutional rights, bullying, and cyber-bullying" through interactive lessons and role-playing.
Carla Kupe-Arion, director of community relations for NOBEL's Chicago chapter, added: "By bringing officers into conversations with young people to teach them about their rights and engage in role playing and other interactive activities, we are giving both groups --the youth and the officers-- an important opportunity to build relationships and empathy. We are thrilled to be bringing this program into CPS, as we all work together to give more officers and more youth the chance to learn from each other and come to see each other as human beings first."