The Miami high school attended by Trayvon Martin, the student shot and killed by a neighborhood watch leader in Central Florida, held a moment of silence for Martin this morning, students and staff have told StateImpact Florida.
Students at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School say it is the first acknowledgement of Martin’s death since he was killed while visiting his father’s girlfriend’s home near Orlando.
Update at 10:15 a.m. ET Miami-Dade School District Responds
This morning, the chief communications director for the Miami-Dade County school district, John Schuster said there is a reason the school did not announce Trayvon’s death on campus.
“Shortly after Trayvon’s death, his parents asked the school’s principal for privacy in the matter,” Schuster said.
But the school did make an announcement anyway after StateImpact Florida started asking around.
Schuster said crisis counselors usually “move from classroom to classroom, announce [a student’s] death, and offer services to students”. But because he said the family requested privacy, “counselors could not proceed in the usual manner.”
“As new information has become available regarding the student’s death, counselors continue to be available to address students’ grief, frustration, and anger about the death of their fellow student.”
Our original post, from 3/21 at 1:16 p.m. ET
The moment of silence comes nearly a month after Martin’s Feb. 26 death, and hours after StateImpact Florida asked the school district why the school had yet to publicly acknowledge Martin’s death on campus.
Students criticized the delay on Twitter:
About Time Krop Have A Moment Of Silence For Trayvon , R.I.P. Tray
— Ima Magician(@LifeAs_Cashley) March 21, 2012
I hate my school… Krop waited too long to acknowledge the situation of Trayvon. should have been done a moment of silence.. no excuses !
— ladi✝gandhi. (@_acceptMYflaws) March 21, 2012
Martin was suspended from school at the time he was shot, The Miami Herald has reported.
The school’s reaction differed for classmate Christopher Belle, who was struck and killed by a car in November, students told StateImpact Florida. The school orchestra collected donations for Belle’s family and a slideshow of Belle was shown at a performance.
“It was definitely different from what they are doing for Trayvon, which is nothing,” junior Ashley Aristide said before classes began Wednesday.
“It’s simpler to deal with something the way Christopher Belle died then the way Trayvon died,” she said. “I’m pretty sure that the school just doesn’t want to have that much commotion…because then learning in that environment would be really hard.”
StateImpact Florida has called the Miami-Dade school district for response, including whether the school followed district policy for grief counseling.
We have the full story on how Travyon Martin’s high school reacted to his public death here.