Trayvon Martin’s parents visit students
10 May 2012
Trayvon Martin’s family recently came to visit Westminster City School with former Arsenal and Tottenham football legend Sol Campbell.
There were a number of high profile adults and a cameraman who wanted to ask us about our opinions and views. They were exploring the theme, “Does wearing hooded jumpers affect public perception of young black people?” They asked us questions such as, “How do you feel the public view young male teenagers wearing hoodies?” and “What effect does dressing up in suits have on the public perception?”
We talked about our new school policy on sixth form uniform. It allows us to be individuals yet encourages us to look more presentable. When we were interviewed we responded by suggesting that, “The suits changed the way people look, treated each other and how they acted around each other in the public”. Another response was that, “As young people we should not judge a book by its cover”. This was an eye-opening experience. Meeting the parents of Trayvon Martin and seeing how their story had affected them, made us realise that whilst we are aware that one cannot judge a person by what they wear, there are some people who do. We should all remember that it is not someone’s background that matters but the content of their character that is important.
The visitors emphasised the fact we should stay in school and remember that education is the key to our success. They reiterated that we should not be phased by negative perception of us or the low levels of trust displayed in the media. They felt that we were good examples and role models within the school. They were being very kind and the phrase they actually used whilst shaking our hands was, “Well done to the students of the capital”.
We would like to thank everyone who trusted us to be involved but also for enabling this experience to take place right on our door step. Who would have thought we would have shook hands with and spoken to Sol Campbell about the more serious issues in life? We did have a little discussion about football but you will need to ask us in person about his thoughts on that subject matter...
Obinna Okeke, Jermaine Omara and Adenrele Balogun - sixth form students