From disappointment to shock to acceptance, the spin a group of East San Antonio at-risk youngsters placed on the verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman were varied.
The youth were participants in a summer program sponsored by the Claude and Zernona Black Development Leadership Foundation.
“The verdict stands as the verdict stands,” said Bobby Boston. “If he’s not guilty, he’s not guilty.”
But Boston said he felt Zimmerman should have been given prison time for shooting Trayvon Martin to death.
Another teen, Aaleyah Lawson, also disagreed with the verdict.
“I felt there was no justification as to why he shot Trayvon, but I personally was not surprised,” she said.
Community activist T.C. Calvert, who presided over the forum, explained that the goal of the session was not to quarrel with the verdict, but to learn from it.
“If you’re saggin’ (your pants), they’re going to judge you. If you have a hoodie on, some people are going to judge you,” he said. “What we want to do is protect you.”
Calvert told the youngsters that racial profiling is a reality and that they must learn how to prevent it from getting them in trouble.
“Watch how you speak, watch how you dress,” Tamaryah Guess, a former school teacher, warned the youngsters.
“Take this information and utilize it in your life,” she said. “We don’t want another Trayvon Martin."