Students in San Diego middle schools and high schools will soon be asked to participate in discussion of the George Zimmerman case. The school board voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow such discussions to take place. According to ABC 10, the Office of Race Human Relations and Advocacy will allow the following:
- 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
- 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.
If you read this carefully, it’s clear students are expected to identify with Martin. Maybe that would happen anyway because of their ages, but it’s clear the school district is presenting Zimmerman as the aggressor who confronted Martin because of his “world view.”
In fact, Zimmerman followed Martin but did not confront him. According to both George Zimmerman and Rachel Jeantel it was Martin who did the confronting that night, both
verbally and with his fists. And of course “stand your ground” will be discussed despite having no role in the trial. Why exactly?
God help the kid who suggests this was a case of justifiable self-defense, i.e the verdict the jury actually reached. That’s probably not the answer the San Diego school board wants to hear in these guided discussions.
Addendum: This article published before the vote says the goal is for students to grapple with “skepticism that they will live in a just society as they prepare for the future.”