PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While there’s happiness about the Derek Chauvin verdict, many agree the work to end systemic racism and police brutality is far from over. Eyewitness News spoke with young people in Philadelphia about what the guilty verdict means to them.
The Chauvin trial is over. Now, the conversation moves from the courtroom to the classroom, where some city students say they remain concerned about their own interactions with police.
Students across the region have been unpacking their feelings regarding Chauvin being convicted of the murder of George Floyd during an arrest.
“I’m glad that justice was given, but at the same time, it wasn’t a win for anyone because we lost a life in George Floyd,” sixth-grader Elijah Choice said.
For a number of students at Global Leadership Academy charter school, they take no consolation from the courtroom victory.
“You could be a little child and they’ll still take your life,” eighth-grader Simone Everett said.
“You just have to be cautious everywhere you go,” sixth-grader Kysier Carroll said.
“I feel more scared now than ever that I can’t do certain things because I’m a Black male,” sixth-grader Elijah Everett said.
Details of the trial hit a nerve with some who fear interacting with police.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen when it’s going to happen,” sixth-grader Caiden Brown said.
Teachers here encourage their young scholars to speak their minds in a safe environment.
“They’re going to be a part of this world and make their mark on this world and someday we’re going to win this war,” Global Leadership Academy CEO Dr. Naomi Johnson Booker said.
At Belmont Charter School, history teacher Jamal Easley has held an open dialogue with students since Floyd was killed, the protests and looting that ensued, through the trial’s conclusion.
“Providing a safe space and just listening to students, that’s what they want. They want to be able to express themselves and know they have a trusted adult to do that,” Easley said.
Educators say it’s critical that these young minds are guided in channeling their energy and emotion into something positive.