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Story - News

May 1, 2012 3:56 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Students Wear Hoodies To Honor Trayvon Martin

May 1, 2012 6:38 PM

Every Friday until the end of the school year, students attending Southampton intermediate school and high school will don hooded sweatshirts, or “hoodies,” in remembrance of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed earlier this year while visiting his father in a gated community in Florida.

On February 26, the 17-year-old, who was wearing his sweatshirt’s hood over his head and carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea, was approached by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who is Hispanic. Just minutes before, Mr. Zimmerman had called police to report that Mr. Martin was on the grounds and acting suspiciously. A scuffle ensued and Mr. Zimmerman fatally shot Mr. Martin; Mr. Zimmerman was not immediately arrested because he alleged that the shooting was in self-defense.

After several weeks of public outcry and testimonies, prosecutors charged Mr. Zimmerman with second-degree murder. The ongoing case has since become a catalyst for discussion about racial profiling and gun violence across the country, and protesters in several states have put on hoodies in support of Mr. Martin, calling for justice to be served.

Seeking to join in on the discussion, Southampton middle and high school students have decided to ignore their district’s dress code once a week—with Schools Superintendent Dr. J. Richard Boyes’s permission—and wear their hoods to spread awareness about gun violence and to oppose those who judge people solely on their appearances. Their gesture is meant to challenge the idea that fashion choice determines the character of the wearer.

“It feels good to know you’re wearing it for a good cause,” said seventh-grader Cecilia Scheuer last Friday.

That day approximately 20 intermediate and high school students gathered in a classroom, some with their hoods on, to discuss why they’ve decided to protest. Several students expressed sadness over Trayvon Martin’s death and voiced concern about how Mr. Zimmerman assumed the teenager was dangerous based solely on how he looked.

“It’s terrible,” one student said. “You can’t just assume things.”

“We want to show people that you should never judge people by just looking at them,” another student added.

“It was wrong,” said Ricky Brumsey, a high school junior. “I wear my hoodie every day in respect for him.”

Seventh-grader Tavia Jeffries, who got the movement started among her classmates, said students carry cards with them to explain why they are wearing their hoods. “We’re wearing our hoods to protest and raise awareness about gun violence, racism and racial profiling in memory of Trayvon Martin,” said Tavia, reading off her card. “I ask that you respect my peaceful protest.”

Many of the students chimed in and said that a lot of their friends and families do not know a lot about the case and wearing a hood has offered them chances to talk about it.

“This gives them an opportunity to have a voice,” Tavia’s mother, Natasha Jeffries, said. “They’re also a part of something that’s happening across the country, and they’re doing it on a small scale in Southampton.”

Ms. Jeffries, a teacher’s assistant in special education at the high school, helped Tavia get the movement started just weeks after she heard about the tragedy.

“When I realized that a young man who was old enough to be my brother was shot because of how he was perceived to look, I thought that it could’ve been avoided,” Tavia said. According to her mom, Tavia saw the protests people were holding across the country and asked her why Southampton students couldn’t do the same.

Stressing the importance of sending a positive message, Ms. Jeffries encouraged Tavia to get her friends together after school and talk about what they could do. “I said let’s go through the proper channels and do this in a peaceful way,” Ms. Jeffries said.

At about the same time, a group of high schoolers approached English teacher Nature Richard about starting a similar peaceful protest. Knowing that Ms. Jeffries was involved with Tavia’s group, Ms. Richard reached out to Ms. Jeffries.

“When young people can come together themselves, especially at 13 and 14, 16 and 17, and say, ‘Let’s do something!’ and actually see it through, it has more of a meaning,” Ms. Jeffries said.

While wearing hoods and hats is against his district’s dress code, Dr. Boyes said he wholeheartedly supports the students’ expression of free speech.

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Are the kids also being taught that you are innocent until proven guilty?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on May 1, 12 5:09 PM
There you go BB, philathome knows enough to dispense with a trial. Just string Zimmerman up.

You'd think after Tawana Brawley and the Duke LaCrosse team "rapists", he'd have run out of rope by now.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 8:53 PM
I love that childish "unarmed" mantra.

Care to guess how many people are murdered by thugs just as "unarmed" as Trayvon Martin was?

Martin had no wounds other than the gunshot. Zimmerman's head was split open. No matter what Zimmerman was doing, if he didn't assault Martin, and there's no evidence he did, Martin had no right to bash Zimmermands head into the ground.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 8:56 PM
3 members liked this comment
So if I follow someone, in your mind they are justified in trying to split my skull open?

You're an idiot.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 9:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's not a "non-sequitr" to point put you're one of the hypocrites that has rushed in to condemn the accused because of their skin color.

It's you, the very one who sees racism everywhere and throws out the accusation regularly, who is racist.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 9:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm willing to allow the justice process to work, you see no need for that in your certainty of Zimmermans guilt, and your manipulative, deceptive framing of the situation "he was only armend with a bag of skittles".
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 9:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
RealityFirst, Trayvon was a "thug"? You are a coward who would bring a gun to a fist fight.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 2, 12 8:01 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Jaws (245), East Quogue on May 2, 12 3:31 PM
Of course the kids are being taught innocent until proven guilty, the school makes sure to teach that. What the school doesn't teach or talk about is racism and it's effects. We can talk about being innocent until proven guilty until your a minority male who is not giving a fair shot.
By Sunsational (3), Southampton on May 3, 12 12:08 PM
Trayvon Martin was innocently walking down the street. In George Zimmermans eyes, he was guilty until proven innocent. That's what happens when people decide to take the law into their own hands and become judge and Jury. Zimmerman now has the protection of the law on his side and Trayvon Martin has...
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 5, 12 8:13 PM
I read his "tweets" and saw his pictures. (Not the ones on picture day in elementary school). He may not of been a thug but he certainly went to great lengths to appear as one through his dress and language. I don't know if Zimmerman acted in self defense, neither do you. On another note, students are now allowed to walk around INSIDE a school with their hoods on? Now that's progressive!
By jams (129), hampton bays on May 7, 12 8:10 PM
If you are a Wall St criminal stealing millions and destroying our economy you won't be charged at all
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on May 1, 12 6:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Are the facts of this incident so clear, that anyone is justified in rushing to judgment? The loss of Mr. Martin's life is tragic indeed, but will the loss be honored or trashed by hasty comments without a basis in FACT?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 1, 12 7:25 PM
3 members liked this comment
How can you speak with any authority as to what happened? You weren't there, and the witnesses who were contradict your assertions.

People like you are willing to toss justice out of the window to satisy your politically correct bloodlust.

Admit it phil, you'd just LOVE to see Zimmerman beaten to death, wouldn't you? Maybe his whole filthy "racist" family should be killed in the name of justice as well, eh phil?
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 9:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 9:20 PM
What? I never said thart. YOU, on the other hand, always assume a racial motivation when the "victim" is a minority.

Do you suppose that those incredibly disproportionate murders of white men, women, and children by blacks were motivated by racial hatred? Naaah. Can't be. You'd never even consider that to be a possibility because on evil "whites" can be racist, right?
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on May 1, 12 9:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yo!

If you witnessed this tragic incident in person, please describe your detailed observations.

If you did not personally witness the event, please preface your comments as "opinion."

Immature criticism of immature actions equals?

Jeez, what is wrong with this picture?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 1, 12 10:15 PM
4 members liked this comment
I fail to see where anyone has ever said that it was OK that Trayvon died. Could you show me where that was stated?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on May 1, 12 10:19 PM
Phil,

I assume your post at 10:22 PM was in reply to my post above at 10:15 PM, even though you appear to have been in such a rush to post that your reference is not clear.

Yes, there are many assumptions made here which may not be warranted. In time, the facts will become more clear. It is not helpful to either Mr. Zimmerman, or to the family of Mr. Martin which has suffered a tragic loss, to rage on without knowing the facts.

Please take a deep breath, and have a good ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 1, 12 10:39 PM
I don't see where anyone said Trayvon "deserved" it. I see where people are repeatedly asking for the case to go to court, as it should, and let the jury decide based on facts, not on hype. How in the world would anyone get a fair trial with all this nonsense going on.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on May 2, 12 9:39 PM
Phil, "the only people who call me that (racist) are those who I point out making racist comments."
Really, Phil? I seem to remember it a little differently in a few other exchanges with you (see preivious articles about the homeless shelter)
You like to interject race into every conversation, and than accuse everyone on the other side of the arguement of bigotry. Anyone can read your remarks on these blogs, you can't hide from the truth my friend.

By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on May 5, 12 2:34 AM
Phil as usual you twist the facts. YOU made the original ascertation in the very first post that travyon was murdered. That is YOUR opinion. Now that those little things called facts have been presented many people including the justice system disagree with you.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on May 5, 12 8:15 AM
Phil, did you just call me a racist?
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on May 8, 12 1:37 AM
Where are the teachers in all of this? Tell them to take their freakin hoods off in the school classroom. Tell them to have some respect for the teachers, and the school. A public school is for learning not BS if they wear their hoods or hats or anything else not exceptable expell them if they are Black, White. or Hispanic!!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 1, 12 9:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
I fail to see how the wearing of a hoodie or a hat interferes with the learning process but you may have more insight; what were you wearing when you learned the word "acceptable"? Are hoodies forbidden in the school dress code? Even if they are, do you really think the penalty is, or should be, as severe as expulsion?
By VOS (1241), WHB on May 1, 12 10:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Phil, perhaps this may be a good time to Chill?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 1, 12 10:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Peace on Earth.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 1, 12 10:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Public schools are the downfall of this country.
By The Good Life (7), Westhampton Beach on May 2, 12 6:38 AM
What complete nonsense. You don't believe in the freedom of expression?
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on May 2, 12 11:16 AM
No the downfall to this country is ignorance!
By bonac79 (18), East Hampton on May 2, 12 12:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
I completely agree with freedom of expression!

If they believe in freedom of expression why is there a dress code in the first place?
By The Good Life (7), Westhampton Beach on May 2, 12 11:33 PM
How would the school react if some of the kids exercised their right to free speech and wore JUSTICE FOR GEORGE t-shirts every Monday??? Think Phil would be applauding that?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 2, 12 7:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
These kids should be applauded for their peaceful activism not attacked by right wing lunatics who would do anything to justify the murder of an innocent black child. If Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman black, I can guarantee you that folks like bigfresh, cheif, et al would be singing a completely different tune! So what if Trayvon fought back - why not protect his right to stand his ground.

Typical cowardly bullies who believe a gun is a just response to fists.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 2, 12 8:00 AM
3 members liked this comment
Breathe Phil, breathe!

Deep breaths.

Why do you, normally one of the most intelligent posters here, keep jumping to conclusions? Did you personally witness this terrible incident? Why do you trust what is printed in the media as the truth?

Peace on Earth?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 2, 12 3:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Jaws (245), East Quogue on May 2, 12 3:16 PM
WOW! I'm stating facts about who Trayvon Martin was and 27east is censoring them!
By Jaws (245), East Quogue on May 2, 12 3:39 PM
Probably not because 1) During the phone call to 911 Zimmerman stated that he did not know the color of Martin.
2) Dispite what the media initially reported, Zimmerman did not use a racial slur to describe Martin during the phone call to police.
3) It came out in the bail hearing that Martin probably approached Zimmerman, not the other way around.
I do believe that the law in Florida is horrible and that Zimmerman should be found guilty of something but with all the media frenzy going ...more
By Spinny OHO (94), Speonk on May 2, 12 6:12 PM
Actually on the uneditied 911 tape when asked if he was white black or latino Zimmerman repsonded that he looked black.
He also stated that he looked like he was in his late teens.

When he made his apology to Trayvon Martin's Parents he stated that he thought he was a few years younger than he was...so now he went from late teens to early 20's?

No one really knows what happend and ultimately its for the courts to decide and that's all Trayvons parents wanted in the first ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 2, 12 8:31 PM
3 members liked this comment
Everyone is assuming that the media have reported accurate facts.

No wonder the world is in a Mess!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 2, 12 7:28 PM
3 members liked this comment
Philathome well said….
BB… lets not forget that if it weren’t for such silent protest that Zimmerman would have never seen his day in court…so the opportunity for him to possibly be found guilty or innocent would have never come to pass! These children are being taught to stand up for what they believe in and to do so in a civil, peaceful manner (including the ones that have been thrown out of class!) They should be applauded in doing so…. along with the teachers ...more
By vzr2brn2 (2), Southampton on May 2, 12 9:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
How do you know that if it wasn't for "such silent protest" that Zimmerman would have never seen his day in court? Not to mention, is that how we are supposed to prosecute in our country, based on the news media's portrayal of what happened?

The police have a procedure to follow. I saw no indication that they weren't following it.

How many times has the news media painted a picture of a crime that was completely incorrect, or inflated? There are dozens of stories that pop ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on May 3, 12 9:52 AM
The police chief told the Martins they could not charge him. So I'm thinking and it might be a leap but here I am leaping...If the Martin family had not pushed the issue, it would have been case closed.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 4, 12 2:41 PM
Trayvon was tought what every chiled is thought...If a person you dont know is following you, you tell someone.. Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend. Then you ask the person to stop, with trayvon did. If the stanger comes at you you fight back.. Trayvon did everything that is thought To any chiled growing up and it still was not good enough to keep him alive. Zemmeman was told more then once to stop following trayvon on the tap but did not listin. zimmerman dont drop the sop
By vzr2brn2 (2), Southampton on May 2, 12 11:53 PM
Good for these kids. They get it. For many people, though they might deny it, there absolutely is a rush to judgement based on clothing, and unfortunately, skin color. I admit I have been guilty of it at times, even though I knew it was wrong.

My tall lanky kid looks just like Travon from the back when he's wearing his jeans and a hoodie and slouching along, so do millions of other kids. Zimmerman way over reacted. He was advised to say away once he had called the police, but he made the ...more
By goldenrod (505), southampton on May 3, 12 11:34 AM
2 members liked this comment
The students at Southampton are protesting against gun violence, racism and racial profiling, you think everyone would be in support of that.
By Sunsational (3), Southampton on May 3, 12 12:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
Some people do not want to believe that race played a part in what happened. I do not think George Zimmerman is a racist. I do think he made some assumptions about Trayvon based on his race and events that took place in the community leading up to that night. In the 911 tape he said he looked like he was up to no good, like he was on drugs or something. The kid was walking down the street talking on his cell phone. How did Mr. Zimmerman come to the conclusion that he was up to no good and possibly ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 3, 12 1:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Put a hoodie on Zimmerman and he would look like Trayvon's brother. The racism exhibited in telation to this whole incident seems to be coming from the left.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 3, 12 4:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
"telation"????

As always, a stunning display of intellect. I suppose that if you meant RETALIATION, perhaps this is a case of inverse racism, considering both parties involved are minorities...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 3, 12 7:15 PM
Are they? Zimmerman is a minority because his mother is from Peru?
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 3, 12 8:33 PM
How about Zimmerman should have stopped following when the dispatcher told him that they didn’t need him to do that? George Zimmerman is to blame for the death of Trayvon Martin. If George Zimmerman had stopped following, Trayvon Martin would have made it safely to his destination. He made assumptions about Trayvon based on his race, and incidents that had taken place in his community...incidents that were perpertrated by young men who looked like Trayvon Martin. One of Zimmermans neighbors ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 4, 12 10:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
phil,

Isn't this a bit early in the evening for you to be making so many typos?

Think about it!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 7, 12 9:01 PM
vig·i·lan·te n. (vi-jə-ˈlan-tē)

Definition of VIGILANTE:

A member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly: a self-appointed doer of justice

— vig·i·lan·tism noun


Examples of VIGILANTE:

The danger of these self-appointed vigilantes is that they sometimes go after innocent people.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 3, 12 7:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
I seem to remember when I attended that school, when I was wearing a "hoodie" I was not allowed to have the hood up. In fact, I remember being told many times to take off the hood of my soccer "hoodie" which the school provided. Did these policies change, or are some teachers/administrater's just too afraid of being called bigots?
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on May 5, 12 12:53 AM
relation, typo
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 5, 12 8:51 AM
These kids don't know what the hell happened, other than the fact that Martin was black. Picking sides solely based on race.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on May 5, 12 9:21 AM
What are they protesting anyway? I find offense that these kids think some self appointed vigalante wacko like Zimmerman represents any race or creed. Why don't these kids protest the fact that African Americans are assaulted ten times as much by their own race. This has nothing to do with race this has to do with a person who thinks its ok to shoot another human being. Don't put me in a category of hating someone because they wear a hood. This country is losing its mind!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 6, 12 7:44 PM
If you think this is about a person who thinks its ok to shoot another human being then you are being deliberately obtuse. Most races are assaulted 10 times more by their own race. What's your point? These kids identify with Trayvon Martin because they have been judged by people who have never taken the time to know them, but have formed opinions about them based on their appearance. It’s a fact of life when you are a person of color or minority in this country. No one is losing their mind. ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 6, 12 9:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 6, 12 9:56 PM
What people are you talking about that judged these kids? What fact are you talking about when you think minoritys aren't getting a fair shake?
Why do Asians come here with not a word of english in their volcabulary become very successful? Why do Hispanics come here with nothing but the clothes on their back make a success out of their lives? Why do Muslims come to the US a predominately Christian country and become great successes. Why even after 9 11 do we even hire a Muslim? The reason ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 7, 12 8:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
And they are all judged, no on is saying that they are held back from being successful, anyone can achieve if they work at it, I am very successfull at my chosen profession, that does not mean I have not been judged based on my race, or gender. Its forced me to work harder to prove that I deserve every promotion, or pay raise I've gotten. The hispanics are deemed illegal, the muslims are called terrorists, just look at some of the postings on this website. Again you are being deliberately obtuse, ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 8, 12 10:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Why even after 911 do we even hire a Muslim? How do you know someone is Muslim? Last time I checked, religious affiliation, is not something you get asked about in a job interview. Its not usually listed on a resume. I know its not something I've ever asked a potential employment canidate, before or after 911. Some people will make assumptions based on the persons name, for instance Rima Fakih-she was the first Arab American Miss USA, born in Lebanon, is she a Muslim? No need to google I'll tell ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 9, 12 12:13 PM
SO, when do we realize that the "right to bear arms" must be antiquated?

Providence forbid, we stop producing arms, and find a greater, common good to work towards...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 6, 12 11:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
I believe the bigger question would be why are there neighborhoods that need legally armed neighborhood watch?
By tee2sea (16), Remsenburg on May 8, 12 12:15 PM
Educate the bigger issues...who is profiting from polarizing our country? The issues are many. Gun Laws, Areas with violent people hanging around that brings on ARMED neighborhood watch groups...also is it smart to dress in a shadey manner and walk in a dangerous neighborhood.? Not saying you CANT but Would you? I do not want to EVER blame a victim but I know if I was in this neighborhood, I would be scared of armed people trying to protect me & the people they were trying to protect me from. ...more
By tee2sea (16), Remsenburg on May 8, 12 12:10 PM
Those who have the credibility, knowhow, forethought and stability to legally own and use a firearm should be able to do so without recrimination. With that statement in mind, there is a common-sense caveat that also should be inserted into the purchase agreement. "If the owner of this firearm chooses to use this firearm in any way that could be considered destructive to another being's property and/or someone's life... THAN said purchaser/user of firearm WILL BE prosecuted to the fullest extent ...more
By Allergic2Stupidity (77), Riverhead on May 10, 12 4:36 PM