The school says that the day is educational on race relations despite the fact that there has been no trial in the case and facts remain in dispute as well as public opinion. The school will hold a “Let’s Keep Our Children Safe” seminar using the facts of the case.
Coleman insists that the day will help reduce the needless violence and bullying in the community.
Given the deep difficulties in D.C. schools from low scores to school violence to drug abuse, the setting aside of this day on a still developing case is likely to be controversial. The school receives just 2 out of 10 points on school ratings. Last year, just slightly over ten percent of the third grade made the passing standards for DC on reading. Even in the DC system, the school was ranked as 24th out of 33 schools. In math, the percentage is only 4 percent. With the scores falling rather than improving at the school, I would prefer a focus on those issues during school days. This is not to say that the case should not be discussed in appropriate classes. I think the case is useful to discuss in terms of racism and other issues where they are relevant to the curriculum.
This is a school day, not a weekend seminar and activities. I understand the good intentions of looking at the problems of racism in society. However, I would have been more comfortable with a weekend event that did not take away from classes in a school district struggling with worsening problems of unemployment (now surpassing 50% in DC) and low performance. Moreover, is there sufficient confirmed evidence to declare Trayvon Martin days as part of public schools?