Reporting Pat Sweeting
PONTIAC (WWJ) - A rally was held outside the Pontiac Academy of Excellence on Monday to support a teacher who was fired for her actions involving the Trayvon Martin case.
Brooke Harris, a middle school literature teacher, was fired for trying to help her students, who had asked to raise money for Martin’s family, by paying $1 to wear hoodies to school.
Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen, was unarmed when he was shot last month by a neighborhood watchman.
Harris said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support as several of her students left class to join the protest even after meeting with the charter school’s superintendent Jacqueline Cassell earlier in the morning.
“There’s nothing wrong with what me and these kids wanted to do,” Harris said. “I really am about to cry because they’re all here right now.”
However, parent Davida King said some school officials did not support the students’ decision to join the rally. “(Superintendent Jacqueline) Cassell told them that this does not concern them, that they were thrown in the middle of something that had nothing to do with them,” King said.
Originally, Harris was just suspended for her efforts to start the fundraiser, but was later fired after showing up to the school during her suspension to drop off prizes for the students.
Harris still plans to find a way to attend the academy’s school board meeting, which is taking place this Tuesday at 5 p.m.
A petition calling for Harris’ reinstatement can be found online at www.change.org.