Updated 03/30/2012 08:48 PM
Students wear hoodies to make statement on violence
Hoodies were the fashion at some Syracuse schools Friday. At the Syracuse Academy of Science, kids and teens wore the sweatshirts in honor of Trayvon Martin, but also violence in their own community. Our Kat De Maria has the story.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Besides being comfortable and looking cute on first through sixth grade students at Syracuse Academy of Science, the hooded sweatshirts they are wearing are meant to send a message.
“I have my hoodie on today so I can show that I want to stop violence," seventh grader Naya Carney said.
The sweatshirts have come to represent the case of Trayvon Martin, a Florida high schooler who was shot and killed while wearing one. There have been hoodie marches and assemblies nationwide, which have transcended the clothes and even the teen himself.
"Trayvon has become more than a name and more than a person. He's become an idea and symbol to rally behind,” Dalton Ackerman said.
Trayvon Martin was the same age as students right in this school and kids and teens alike say they feel connected to him.
"It feels like when I wear my hoodie, I think of him," second grader Cornell Smith said.
"I relate to him. And I relate to his family. I know a lot of people who look like Trayvon who could portray Trayvon on any given day," senior class president Tamika Arnold said.
At an assembly Friday, a Syracuse advocate said there are many Trayvons right in the city. The school's director says a student's uncle was killed in a shooting on the Southside just last week. Students recalled other shootings, stabbings and fights, as well as the murder of a transgendered person a few years ago.
"I feel like it can be anywhere, because usually it happens up the street or down or just around the corner from your house," Smith said.
"No matter where you live, there are things that go on that need to stop," said Carney.
The issues are a lot, especially for the youngsters in their hoodies. But school leaders say they are proud of their students for understanding the prevalence of violence, its impact on their own lives and the importance of taking a stand against it.
“It's not just Florida. It's in Syracuse. We want to make sure this positivity spreads out. It's great they're standing up and want to see a peaceful world," said Tolga Hayali, Syracuse Academy of Science Director.