an important life lesson is understanding death

By: A.J. Bayatpour

For more than 600 Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students, a very different kind of lesson is part of their schedule.

The district offers grief counseling services to students who’ve recently lost a loved one. The program’s director, Christopher Gerou, bluntly describes it as “death education.”

Gerou explains at just about any school, the curriculum is largely what you’d expect. He believes the value of his work is teaching a universal lesson that, for some students, is even more important.

“We learn about art, we learn about history, we learn about social sciences,” Gerou said. “We learn about everything, but we also have to learn about death. Death is something that we all have to go through.”