A public school district in San Diego, Calif., has voted unanimously to initiate “Trayvon Martin dialogues” among middle and high-school students so they can “speak honestly about their identification with Trayvon Martin’s story, including feelings of fear, anger and skepticism that they will live in a just society as they prepare for their future.”
On July 30, the San Diego Unified School District board voted 4-0 to “allow students to speak honestly about the worldview that prompted George Zimmerman to confront Trayvon Martin, and help students develop perspectives and strategies to channel their feelings about Trayvon Martin into positive work for themselves and the larger community.”
School-board member Richard Barrera, who the district describes as having “a background as a community organizer, working to revitalize low-income neighborhoods,” presented the resolution by explaining, “The Trayvon Martin case is something that is having a huge impact across the country and here in the San Diego community. And I know that it’s also an issue that’s particularly having an impact on young people.
“The feelings of young people that I’ve spoken to that have made their voice heard throughout our community are feelings of anger, of frustration, of a sense that is the society that young people grow up in and enter into, is it gonna be fair? And if people kinda play by the rules, do what they’re supposed to do, work hard, study hard with the intention of creating a decent future for themselves, is that future going to be realized in this society?”
In his statement, Barrera didn’t clarify whether he believed Trayvon Martin, too, had chosen to “play by the rules … work hard, study hard.”
As WND has reported, Twitter, Facebook, and toxicology tests established Trayvon’s long and enthusiastic acquaintance with marijuana and codeine. Also, the London Daily Mail ran a story about Trayvon’s suspensions from school three times for fighting, drug abuse and vandalism. The Miami Herald reported that Trayvon was found with women’s jewelry, including silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds. Trayvon was shot while on suspension from high school.
Barrera added, “[P]articularly young men of color [are] trying to get their heads around what happened in this situation. I think it’s important for us to open up the opportunity for young people to have dialogue with each other, but under the facilitation of professional educators.”
Another school board member, Marne Foster, declared, “Trayvon Martin could have been any one of my three sons as an unarmed, young African-American male traveling home.”
Foster said the resolution presents an “opportunity to have a real and a candid and an honest conversation about the state of America and what the world looks like for our young people and then having a vehicle to drive change.”
She said, “This … gives them a voice and the tools to constructively and safely engage the world around them, and more importantly to become that change agent that we so desperately need them to be,” adding “especially given in 2013, they are still living in a time reminiscent of Emmett Till.”
Till was a 14-year-old boy who was brutally beaten and killed in Mississippi in 1955 after he reportedly whistled at a white woman. Foster’s statement was reminiscent of Oprah Winfrey’s public comparison of Martin and Till. The TV talk host claimed the two cases are “the same thing.”
But TV host Glenn Beck called the comparison “unbelievably wrong.”
“These are two cases that … have nothing in common,” Beck said, explaining that George Zimmerman’s killing of Martin was ruled as self-defense, and Till was viciously murdered by racists.