American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten every now and then tweets about teaching, and along with praise for President Obama’s “powerful personal speech today about race,” she linked to some resources for teachers to aid in classroom discussion of the George Zimmerman verdict. Here’s a selection:
Unfortunately, a lot seems to have happened in the process of making today’s news into tomorrow’s lesson. For example, the lesson summary contends that “Zimmerman’s defense team employed Florida’s ‘stand-your-ground’ law, which states that an individual may justifiably use self-defense without attempting to leave the situation if he or she feels his or her life is in danger.”
Actually, Zimmerman waived his right to a pretrial hearing to determine if he was immune from prosecution under the state’s “stand your ground” legislation, choosing instead to go to trial. Repeal of stand your ground has nevertheless become a cause célèbre, inspiring boycotts of Florida from misdirected entertainers like Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick and an ongoing occupation of the governor’s office.
The lesson then turns to the post-verdict protests that were “largely peaceful and non-violent in nature” (aren’t they always?) and then links to further resources on non-violent resistance and racial profiling, which — as Zimmerman’s own defense team reminded the president tonight — had no bearing whatsoever on the Zimmerman trial.
For our part, we’ll provide some resources on those “mostly peaceful” protests and a reminder to update the list when the New Black Panther Party holds its Million Youth March in September: