Current Weather
The Spy FM

Fla. Students ‘Making A Stand’ For Slain Classmate

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
March 24, 2012

Students walked out of more than 30 Miami, Fla., schools on Friday, some chanting “Justice for Trayvon.” At some schools, protesters numbered more than 1,000, others fewer than 100. Some teachers and principals gave their tacit approval.

The first walkout was at Carol City High School, where Trayvon Martin was a student last year. Hundreds of his old schoolmates walked out in the middle of the school day as a sign of solidarity for the slain student.

Nearly a month has passed since George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon, an unarmed teen. But it wasn’t until this week that the high school Trayvon attended in Miami said anything about his death to his fellow students.

That got Miami students talking and organizing.

Alana Coreus, a 12th-grader, says she won’t mind if she gets punished for walking out of class.

“Everyone feels like what they’re doing is right,” she says, “because everyone is walking around with their Skittles, their hoodies, and they feel like they’re making a stand.”

At the time of his death, Trayvon was carrying a bag of Skittles and wore the hood of his jacket over his head.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho says each school will have to decide for itself whether to discipline students.

“I think we have demonstrated passion and compassion, understanding,” he says. “We don’t decree discipline from downtown.”

The superintendent also says Trayvon’s parent urged students to stay in class. Trayvon’s former classmates, including Mercury Duncan, are honoring that request.

“Walking out is not really doing anything, it’s not going to bring him back, not making his mom feel any way because she asked us not to walk out,” he says, “and what we’re doing, it could kind of comfort her.”

Students at the school are writing letters to Trayvon and his family, linking them together and creating what they call a “chain of life” around the school campus.

According to the school district, Trayvon’s death was not initially announced to his classmates because his parents asked for privacy. Internal school emails show the principal asked teachers to refrain from lengthy conversations about Trayvon.

Ashley Airihsteed says her teacher avoided the subject when it came up in history class.

“I am pretty sure the school just really doesn’t want to have that much commotion in the school because then learning in that environment would be pretty hard,” she says.

Eventually, the school decided to do something. The principal called for a moment of silence more than three weeks after Trayvon’s death.

Frustrated by the delay, some students took to social media and began organizing the walkouts.

Their online activism continues. Monday, Trayvon’s former classmates are planning to dress in black to mark the month that has passed since his death.

This story is part of the StateImpact Florida project. StateImpact is a collaboration between NPR and member stations examining the effect of state policy on people’s lives. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center