I have been feeling a lot of guilt and mourning during the discussions about Trayvon Martin. Mourning for obvious reasons, that a child was murdered, that someone now has blood on his hands, and that so many parents are afraid of this happening to their children.
Guilt, because of the quick judgments I have made, and about the one boy I evicted from a class of mine, when I was teaching "at risk" (quotation marks just because I'm quoting, not because I think it's false) kids in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He harassed his teachers, he used violent language, he mocked, but, ultimately, he just wanted to be left alone. Unfortunately, I, finding that I could not teach him, and frustrated by the disruptions, asked that he be removed from the program. I now wish I had just quit, and let the director take over. After all, I was the one who couldn't handle it. And now where is he? He is an adult now, and I wonder what chances he has. I wish him well.
All that to say, as horrible as it is, I understand feeling threatened when there is no threat. I hope Mr. Zimmerman finds peace. My apologies if I sound pious, I just really do wish that for him. Because I wish it for myself.