By now, everyone in American has heard of Trayvon Martin and his untimely death at the hands of a nieghborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. The circumstances of Trayvon’s death are still being hashed out, and Florida has yet to charge Zimmerman with any crimes. However, there has been much discussion, backlash, turmoil, outcrying, and media foul ups surrounding this case. All of us are watching and listening intently to find out exactly what will happen in Florida in the weeks and months to come. And of course people are reaching out in support of the family.
Some recent support was going to come from students in Michigan who wanted to raise some money for the Martin family. It is likely that Trayvon’s funeral had cost a nice penny, and while money can never bring back their son; it’s a decent gesture to give a gift of some kind. Most of us could use an extra couple of dollars, and I’m quite sure the Martin family could also. For a trip to the movies, a dinner, a trip out of Florida for a couple of days. Anything to get their mind off the loss of their son for just a few minutes. These particular Michigan students wanted to have a “wear a hoodie day” in honor of Trayvon at their school, asking for just a $1 from administrators. Teacher Brooke Harris is quoted as saying she did everything “by the book,” and was “dismissed with little explanation.” Superintendent Jacqueline Cassel said she didn’t oppose the effort, more its timing. She is quoted as saying, “I’m a child of the civil rights movement,” but “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics. “In every situation, there are work rules,” she said. “When rules are violated, there are consequences.” You can read the rest of the article here.
What i want to know is…when is it the right time to teach activism and standing up for what you believe? Are all the kids going to somehow magically fail out of school for one day in support of a tragic event that has obviously affected them enough, that they want to do something nice for Trayvon’s family. Not to mention that it’s already mid-April. If the students haven’t learned enough to pass by now, then they need do repeat the grade. And aren’t teachers supposed to be there to support students in how to postively and correctly go about rallying for a cause. If Brooke Harris did everything “by the book,” as she is quoted as saying, then why has she been dismissed. I guess even if you’re politically correct and try to appease the people in charge, then you still get hung out to dry. When you’re being what a teacher is supposed to be; a teacher who supports students, a teacher who supports kindness and generosity for your fellow man, you’re destined to be hung out to dry. Civil rights organizations are calling for her reinstatement and so am I. Enough of our teachers are bogged down by state regulations, feeling that their hands are tied, and that they are powerless to truly educate students so that they are prepared for the real world. We’ve got enough puppet teachers in America as it is, going through the motions and collecting a paycheck.
And in conclusion, what these kids wanted to do, and what this teacher supported is what this United States of America is built upon. What would this great America be if people didn’t stand up to injustice and tyranny. Would Native Americans have reservations, would blacks have been free and given civil rights, would women have moved up the social ladder, would Pearl Harbor have been blown up unanswered if there weren’t people who fought. This country isn’t perfect, but the one ideal that always stands in America is that when their is injustice, we stand up and we fight. We don’t fire people for it. We clap our hands, we cheer them, and then we build them a monument in honor of their brave service.
Until next write…
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