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Wed Apr 11, 2012, 02:21 AM

Michigan teacher fired for Trayvon Martin hoodie fundraiser

Brooke Harris, an eighth grade English teacher, was fired after encouraging students raise money in support of Trayvon Martin's family. A petition has been started to reinstate Brooke Harris.

A teacher in southeastern Michigan has been fired for helping students organize a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, a national civil rights group said.

Brooke Harris was dismissed in March from Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School "with little explanation" after she encouraged students to plan a wear-a-hoodie-to-school day in memory of Martin, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Ala., said Monday. Martin was wearing a hoodie Feb. 26 when he was killed.

The hoodie has become a popular and sometimes controversial symbol of those campaigning for justice in the Trayvon Martin case. On March 28, Rep. Bobby Rush (D) of Illinois was removed from the House of Representatives in Washinton for wearing a hoodie. Rush was was in violation of clause 5 of House Rule 17 against wearing hats on the House floor. On March 30, a Delaware high school lifted its dress code for a day so that students could wear hoodies to school.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0410/Michigan-teacher-fired-for-Trayvon-Martin-hoodie-fundraiser

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Reply Michigan teacher fired for Trayvon Martin hoodie fundraiser (Original post)
Rhiannon12866 Apr 2012 OP
jimlup Apr 2012 #1
Cooley Hurd Apr 2012 #2
Rhiannon12866 Apr 2012 #3
Honeycombe8 Apr 2012 #4

Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:34 AM

1. This appears to be an extreme over reaction on the Administrators part

I'm a teacher in the area - (not the same district or school) and this really pisses me off! I'll go to rallies to support her if I have to. My hope would be that the Administration suddenly realizes that they've over reached and reinstates her. Lacking that - this seems to be a major free speech case! She is an employee of the State of Michigan. This is totally unacceptable and I doubt very seriously that the majority of the people in Michigan would support the firing. (Yeah - the wing nut right wingers in our woods would but nobody else I think...)

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:41 AM

2. She was teaching them about current events and about community involvement...

 

...how awful!

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:17 PM

3. I agree! How awful to educate kids to be informed and involved citizens!

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:22 PM

4. Unless her subject was Social Studies, she was out of line.

I'd want teachers of my kids to focus on what they were hired to teach.

It doesn't sound like she was helping the students raise money. It sounds more like she was using them to raise money for Martin's family. AND she told them to wear hoodies to a private school, which can be viewed as a protest move?

The incident could be discussed in a social studies class, but this "encouraging" the kids to hold a fundraiser and then do a "wear a hoodie to school" day is out of line. She should've known that, at the LEAST, she should've sought approval from the principal.

But dismissal seems harsh. Unless the school has a written policy that would cover this (like holding fundraisers or the like).

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