Northampton school raising money to visit George Floyd memorial

By Ollie ConopoBBC News, Northamptonshire
BBC Students and teachers from Northampton International AcademyBBC
Kyla (in purple) and Atifa together with head teacher Martin Serrao want to visit Minneapolis to pay tribute to George Floyd

Pupils at a school have launched a fundraising campaign to visit George Floyd's memorial in the United States.

The Northampton International Academy students want to go to the spot where he was killed in Minneapolis, which has become a gathering place.

They hope they will be able to share messages of freedom and justice with pupils back at the school.

Head teacher Martin Serrao said: "Our school is a very diverse school and that is part of our strength."

He said two year 10 students, Kyla and Atifa - who serve on the cultural inclusion committee - approached him with the idea when he started at the school in February.

"They said they wanted a voice and they wanted to be clear about how we can make sure inclusion is top of our agenda," said Mr Serrao.

"We're very inclusive and we think that now, of all times, it's important that we come together and understand what is going on in the world and how these young people can make it better."

Work on a permanent memorial to Mr Floyd, murdered by white ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020, has yet to start.

However, the group of students want to visit where he was killed, now known as George Floyd Square - where 38th Street East and Chicago Avenue South meet - which houses murals and tributes.

Kyla, one of the student organisers, said: "We thought going out to America would raise awareness... to students to show them we are being productive and we're going to learn about certain places and areas where people are trying to live well together."

Fellow student Atifa said she hoped the trip would keep inclusivity issues in focus.

"I feel like when it did happen everybody spoke about it, but now it isn't spoken as much as society as a whole," she said.

While the students do not yet have a fundraising target in place, they hoped to raise as much as they could towards the trip by March.

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