When BSU Proclaims Hoodies Up, Students’ Eyes Opened

Caily Galvez, Staff Writer

Pali High’s Black Student Union sponsored a “Hood Up” activity on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Students were encouraged to wear hoodies to show their solidarity and raise awareness of violent crimes against African Americans. 

The event was an opportunity for Pali students and staff to learn more about Trayvon Martin, 17, who was fatally shot 10 years ago while being chased in a gated community where his father lived. Trayvon was on his way home after buying a bag of candy and an iced tea at a local convenience store.

Please read the following to learn more about Trayvon’s life, his death, and the foundation his family has created to raise awareness of growing instances of racial profiling:

  • Trayvon Martin, an African American student, was born in Florida on February 5, 1995.
  • He experienced things like skiing, horseback riding and a trip to New York City during his early years, according to his parents. Trayvon had aspirations of becoming a pilot and was described as a person athletically inclined and invested in his education.
  • He experienced minor complications in his last year of high school and began receiving multiple suspensions.
  • After his third high school suspension, he visited his father at The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, a gated community that had launched a neighborhood watch in response to the rise of burglaries and robberies.
  • George Zimmerman, one of the residents, was selected as the program coordinator. He called police several times from August 2011 to February 2012 to report individuals who he deemed to be suspicious. Every one of these human beings was African American.
  • Zimmerman called the police from his car on Feb. 26, 2021, to file a report about an African American teenager who was wearing a hoodie while walking toward his father’s home in The Retreat at Twin Lakes. The individual was Trayvon, who was returning home after buying Skittles and an Arizona iced tea.
  • Police advised Zimmerman to remain in his car, however he disregarded those instructions and approached Trayvon, and a conflict ensued.
  • Seeing that he was being chased by Zimmerman, Trayvon began to run. He was shot in his chest. Trayvon was less than 100 yards – the length of a football field –  from the townhouse where he was visiting his father. Trayvon died almost instantly. He was 17 years old.
  • Zimmerman claimed it was “self defense” and was charged with second-degree murder on April 11, 2012. He was acquitted.

For more information or support please visit The Trayvon Martin Foundation.

Jonah Bahari Moghadam