Students Across S. Fla. Walkout For Justice In Trayvon Martin Case
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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — As more and more students continue to walk out of schools, all of the protest marches have remained peaceful through Friday morning.
There were some nervous moments late Friday morning as students from Southridge Senior High school walked out and made their way towards Southland Mall in Cutler Bay.
Local police were called out and kept the peace at the mall. Customers were being allowed in and out of the mall, but several stores were keeping kids out of the mall.
The walkout was one of the largest of the morning, but ended peacefully shortly before noon when the students returned to class.
Through Friday morning, 15 high schools in Miami-Dade County had seen students walkout including:
- Miami Norland Senior High
- Miami Edison Senior High
- Miami Central Senior High
- William H. Turner Technical Arts Senior High
- Miami Jackson Senior High
- South Miami Senior High
- North Miami Beach Senior High
- Homestead Senior High
- Miami Northwestern Senior High
- Miami Killian Senior High
- Miami Carol City Senior High
- Miami Southridge Senior High
- American Senior High School
- Allapattah Middle School
- Country Club Middle School
For those students who went off campus, Miami-Dade Schools police were on the scene but only to make sure they were conducted in a peaceful manner.
Trayvon Martin is the 17-year-old Miami Gardens teen shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26th. George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, but said he did it in self-defense. No charges have been filed and that has led to local, state and nationwide protests.
Miami-Dade Schools asked students to respect the wishes of Trayvon’s mother by not walking out of school.
“While we respect the expression of emotion by our students, we ask that they remain focused on their education,” said Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho in a statement. “Our most important mission is to provide a safe learning environment for students, so we are asking them to respect the wishes of Trayvon’s mother by celebrating his memory not through walkouts, but through reflection and civic participation.”
Miami-Dade Schools said school administrators, school police, and local police departments were working together to maintain vigilance and ensure safety for demonstrating students.
Nadine Drew, spokeswoman for the Broward County School District said there are several schools in Broward participating in structured, on-campus walkouts as well. She didn’t have an exact list of schools but said the protests are district-wide.
Students from Michael Krop Sr. High, where Trayvon attended school as a junior, were also planning a walkout Friday but decided to abide by the wishes of Trayvon’s mother and not walkout of class. Instead, she’s asked students to sign petitions, attend organized rallies, and pray.
Students expressed disbelief and anger over the death of Martin and fear over the same thing could have happened to them.
“It could of been me, it could of been you,” said student Melissah Debreus. “Innocent bystanders just walking just shot him for no reason. He was screaming for help. I don’t understand how it was self-defense.”
Students at Southride High School spelled out Trayvon Martin’s initials on the football field.
“I’m crying inside,” said student Joshua Pascal. “I’m trying my hardest to h old it in, but I really want to pay my respects to Trayvon Martin.”
Martin’s cousin wore a hoodie Thursday to represent Trayvon.
“That man killed that man for nothing,” said Martin’s cousin James Harwick. “This is how I feel about it now kill me.”