Students at a public high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania proposed Trayvon Martin theme day to be one of their homecoming week events, but eventually settled on pirate hat day instead after many complained.
The idea was for Carrick High School students to come to school dressed in hoodies in remembrance of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death last year after an altercation with local neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Martin’s death has been cited as a case of racial profiling and vigilantism, even though Zimmerman is himself a minority and was acquitted of the murder.
“Commemorate Trayvon Martin, wear the hoodies, and make this a positive thing,” said principal Dennis Chakey in a statement to local news.
Not everyone was thrilled with the idea.
“A lot of people were complaining to the school advisor to change it,” said one student, Bryan Bergener, in a statement to local news.
The homecoming committee quickly changed its mind, and replaced Trayvon Martin theme day with buccaneer hat day. Students will now come to school wearing silly hats resembling the school mascot, instead of hoodies.
“So we just used bucco Day to put everybody together, put everybody as a whole,” said Javon Jordan, a student and homecoming committee member.
Still, students have not forgotten Martin, even if their homecoming committee no longer believes in honoring his memory with an official spirit week theme holiday.
When asked by a local news reporter why Martin’s death was still so central to students’ lives, student Sabriyah Schley asked, “is George Zimmerman in jail yet?”
The reporter replied, “No.”
“That’s why,” answered Schley.