A California high school teacher has stirred up controversy and praise by posing as Trayvon Martin in his yearbook photo.
According to reports, Spencer Smith dressed up as the slain Flordia teen to make a political statement at Brentwood’s Heritage High School. In the yearbook, which came out Thursday afternoon, the longtime history teacher is seen wearing a hoodie and holding a bag of Skittles candy.
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Reactions to the photo were mixed, reports KTVU. “I think it’s ok that he did it, just not in the yearbook. I think he can do it at his house or on his Facebook. But not in the yearbook,” sophomore Amber McKim said. “Yeah, cause it’s going to be there forever,” added her friend and fellow sophomore Sydney Veuve.
Alfreda Charway, president of the Black Student Union, said she loved the bold move. “I think it’s a good idea because he’s expressing himself. Because that’s the whole point of yearbook pictures, you’re supposed to express yourself,” she told reporters. “I don’t know what kind of message he was trying to send, but I think he just wanted to draw more attention to it.”
At least two parents felt the photo was inappropriate. “I think you could take it different ways, but I think a high school yearbook as a teacher is not the place to make your stance,” said parent Michelle Alameda.
“I think that’s very inappropriate for a yearbook,” added another mom, who refused to give her name. “This is supposed to be capturing the best moments of the year. And all positive things.”
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