BLACK VOICES
05/29/2014 12:41 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2014

Teacher's Trayvon Martin Portrayal In High School Yearbook Sparks Controversy

A Bay Area teacher stirred controversy after dressing as Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old unarmed boy who was fatally shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012.

Brentwood's Heritage High School history teacher, Spencer Smith, wore a grey hoodie and held a bag of Skittles in his yearbook photo.

The high school's Black Student Union president Alfreda Charway told KTVU Live News that she found the photo appropriate "because that's the whole point of yearbook pictures, you're supposed to express yourself."

Other students and parents were less understanding of Smith's message, including one mother who wished to remain anonymous.

"This is supposed to be capturing the best moments of the year. And all positive things."

The now iconic hoodie symbol of solidarity has circulated everywhere from protest signs, to the #HoodiesUp hashtag, to offensive Halloween costumes. But Smith's portrayal is most reminiscent of Ebony magazine's "We Are All Trayvon" covers featuring Spike Lee, Dwayne Wade, Boris Kodjoe with their sons.

Neither Smith nor the school principal have issued a comment on the yearbook photo.

Correction: This article originally stated this controversy took place at Brentwood High School in Los Angeles and has been corrected to Heritage High School in Brentwood, California.

Trayvon Martin reaction
Subscribe to the Black Voices email.
Stay plugged in with the stories on black life and culture.

CONVERSATIONS