Steps towards a Truth and reconciliation approach in school curricula
A truth and reconciliation approach in the school curricula would be the first step to getting a T&R approach in the criminal justice system. Students are the future generation of the US, and it is wise to teach them all the flaws that America has had in the past.
One of the first steps for a refined curriculum is for teachers to go out and do more research from different sources. There are hundreds of sources out there, that want to teach the community about slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, etc. However, it's not always easy to do your own research. It takes multiple hours of searching for sources, and reading those. But, learning more about this topic will benefit the student's when it comes time to teaching it to them.
There are also various ways to go about teaching students slavery. It is understandable, that a young age, children shouldn't be subjected to harsher details about slavery. It is still important to teach them the basics of it though.
In kindergarten through second grade, students should go over what it means to be free, what it means when someone owns another person as their "property", where the enslaved and indigenous people came from and their various cultures, and that slavery and race is connected.
Between third and fifth grade, students should start learning about that the main purpose of slavery was to make money, enslaved people fought for freedom throughout the years, and start to learn about what happened during the civil war, why it started, and what happened afterward.
In middle and high school, students can start going deeper into slavery and the ethics of it all. They should be learning that slavery existed all around the world, the slave trade from Africa to the Americas, the impact that slavery had on the french, Spanish, and the British colonies in North America.
With a truth and reconciliation approach in school curricula, students would be able to learn deeper about slavery and how it relates to the United States today, thus educating the future generation on the legacy of racial injustice in this country and opening the door for reconciliation in the justice system as well. Teaching students slavery at a young age and increasing the amount of information and details when they become older, will benefit this nation as a whole. To move into a reconciliation process, the first steps is learning the truth about slavery and other forms of discrimination. Once students are taught the history of America’s past, then finding reconciliation in the criminal justice system can be achieved.