Berkeley students wear skirts for teen lit on fire

Students and faculty at Berkeley Maybeck High are wearing skirts in solidarity with a senior who was burned on an AC Transit bus.
November 8, 2013 12:22:34 PM PST
Students, teachers and the administration at Berkeley's Maybeck High School are making a wardrobe change today to show support for a classmate who was set on fire on an A.C. Transit bus.

Luke "Sasha" Fleischman, 18, was lit on fire while sleeping in the back of an AC Transit bus as it drove through Oakland around 5:20 p.m. Monday.

Sasha would often wear skirts to school, so students decided to make a statement of their own. The students at the school walked into classes wearing skirts, both females and males. The school director said he could not be prouder and he put on a skirt too.

"It is always great to see students rallying in support of another student and especially in this case given the horrific event that took place," said Maybeck High School Director Trevor Cralle.

They decided to encourage the 110 students at the high school in Berkeley to wear skirts.

Candace Turtle said her daughter was among them.

"She did wear a skirt today and I am proud of her and the other Maybeck kids for showing their support for Sasha and we hope Sasha gets better soon and comes back to Maybeck to take math tests and finish applying to college," said Turtle.

Sasha does not identify as male or female and is instead gender neutral and a gender identity activist. The Maybeck senior is now in the hospital recovering from second and third degree burns.

"I just got an e-mail from Sasha's mom that said we are thrilled that everybody is going to be wearing skirts in support of Sasha," said Cralle.

During lunch, students will come to the plaza and take a group picture in the skirts and send it to Sasha along with a get well card. Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy and decided to charge him as an adult.


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