San Diego Unified votes to have staff discuss George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case with students

Trustees Barrera, Foster submitted proposal

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday voted to have staff discuss the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case with middle and high school students.

The school board voted unanimously during Tuesday's meeting. Trustees Richard Barrera and Marne Foster initially offered the proposal.

Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 26, 2012, fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Fla.

The confrontation ignited debate over racism, vigilantism, self-defense and a "stand your ground" law in Florida.

Barrera and Foster said discussions among students would allow them to speak honestly how they identify with Trayvon Martin and have feelings of fear, anger, and skepticism that they will live in a just society as they prepare for the future.

The trustees also said the plan, which would be implemented by the district's Office of Race Human Relations and Advocacy, would:

-- allow students to talk about the world view that prompted George Zimmerman to confront Trayvon Martin;

-- help students develop perspectives and strategies to channel their feelings about Trayvon Martin into positive work for themselves and the larger community;

-- allow students to speak about the "stand your ground" laws; and

-- help students learn how to deal with being confronted by others in an authoritative manner.

Barrera and Foster also said the students could learn from the decisions made by Zimmerman and Martin, and how things could have been done differently.

 
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