Michigan charter school teacher, Brooke Harris wanted to teach her eighth grade class about Trayvon Martin because they’d heard about the tragedy and the kids had questions because being young children of color who walk to the corner store almost daily, they felt threatened. Harris explained, “They are young, black and brown kids who walk to the corner store after school every day. They’ve been stopped by police because they ‘looked like’ some kids who did something illegal.”
Harris’ students felt very passionate about Trayvon Martin, so they decided to do more than have class discussions or write letters, they wanted to raise money for Trayvon’s family. Ms. Harris took it upon herself to help her students organize the fundraiser and was promptly suspended, then fired. She was told, “You’re a teacher, not an activist.”
Harris brought the idea for a fundraiser to the school superintendent, Jacqueline Cassell. Rather than embracing the students’ idea and praising them for taking such an active stance, Harris says, Superintendent Cassell rejected the fundraiser, then refused to meet with the students when they wanted to challenge her decision.
Harris feels terrible. She says, “I just feel bad for my kids. I hope I haven’t let them down.”
So now, here’s our chance to help Brooke Harris get her job back. Sign the petition to get The Pontiac Academy of Excellence to re-hire Harris. If you’re a part of this, there’s no way the superintendent could ignore the power of many the way she ignored the students’ activism. Sign the petition here.