Teacher: I Was Fired for Trayvon Hoodie Protest

She tried to help students organize a fundraiser, got canned
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2012 11:13 AM CDT
Teacher: I Was Fired for Trayvon Hoodie Protest
A man wears a hoodie and a scarf with the likeness of Trayvon Martin during a "One Thousand Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin" event at the University of Minnesota, in this March 29, 2012 file photo.   (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Renee Jones Schneider)

A civil rights group is raising a hue and cry on behalf of Brooke Harris, who says she was fired for trying to help students organize a fundraiser protesting the killing of Trayvon Martin. Harris says students in her yearbook class suggested an event in which they'd pay $1 in order to deviate from the Pontiac Academy for Excellence's dress code for a day, allowing them to wear hoodies to school. But Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell nixed the idea, and suspended Harris, the Detroit Free Press reports.

"I was told I was a bad teacher, that I was being unprofessional, that I'm being paid to teach, not to be an activist," Harris says. When she protested, she was fired. Now the Southern Poverty Law Center is circulating a petition to get her reinstated. Cassell says she didn't think hoodies were appropriate for school, but says that's not why she fired Harris. "I lived the civil rights movement. If anybody has a reason to be sympathetic … it would be me." (Read more Trayvon Martin stories.)

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