You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Sister of alleged West Liberty shooter speaks, school to re-open

Teacher's yearbook photo tribute to Trayvon Martin causes stir


A yearbook photo of a high school teacher making a political statement by dressing up like slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin was stirring up controversy in the community Thursday.

As classes let out for the day at Brentwood's Heritage High School in Brentwood, California Thursday, students were more excited than usual because the school had issued the 2014 yearbook.

Very quickly, a portrait taken by longtime history teacher Spencer Smith became a hot topic sweeping across campus.

In the photo, Smith is dressed like Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager killed by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman in 2012.
Smith is wearing a hoodie with the hood covering his head and he's holding a bag of Skittles candy.

Reactions to the photo among students were mixed.

"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," said sophomore Amber McKim.

"Yeah, cause it's going to be there forever," added her friend and fellow sophomore Sydney Veuve.

"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," said Alfreda Charway Heritage High School's Black Student Union President.

But the yearbook is the year in review mostly for the students at Heritage.

"I think that's very inappropriate for a yearbook. This is supposed to be capturing the best moments of the year. And all positive things," said one mother who declined to give her name.

The few parents who talked with KTVU thought the yearbook was not a good place for this kind of statement.

"I am kind of sad about it, that it has to go be put in the yearbook," said parent Maria Tan.

"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.

Zimmerman was tried for murdering Martin last summer, but was acquitted in the racially charged case.

"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," said Charway.

A lot of kids just laughed about the picture. KTVU tried to contact Smith about why he dressed that way, but he was gone for the day.

The school principal said he just learned about it that afternoon and that he would have to look into it before commenting.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Sister of alleged West Liberty shooter speaks, school to re-open
Sister of alleged West Liberty shooter speaks, school to re-open

The older sister of the alleged West Liberty-Salem High School shooter said she was shocked when she learned that her brother had been accused of hurting other students. Ely Serna, 17, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with a Friday morning school shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School. A judge ruled Monday during...
Dayton VA to celebrate 150 years of service to veterans
Dayton VA to celebrate 150 years of service to veterans

Two years after the end of the Civil War, former soldiers were housed on hundreds of acres filled with ornate gardens in Dayton at what would become the largest home for veterans in the nation. That place began as the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, the genesis of the Dayton VA Medical Center, which this year marks its 150th anniversary...
Federal agents seize $20M hidden in a box spring in Massachusetts
Federal agents seize $20M hidden in a box spring in Massachusetts

Federal agents seized nearly $20 million in cash hidden in a box spring in a Westborough, Massachusetts, apartment.  The money was seized this month and a Brazilian man was arrested in connection with conspiring to launder proceeds of a massive TelexFree pyramid scheme.  The U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts said agents...
5th grade student’s outburst threatening shooting concerns parents
5th grade student’s outburst threatening shooting concerns parents

The shooting last week at West Liberty-Salem High School prompted parents at Mad River Local Schools to bring concerns about a 5th grade student’s outbursts to district officials Monday. A 10-year-old Spinning Middle School student made statements “out of the blue” Thursday to another student, such as “I’m going to shoot...
State aims to rescue teens before they fall victim to sex traffickers
State aims to rescue teens before they fall victim to sex traffickers

Analysts and agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will scour social media and government data banks to identify teens at risk of being dragged into the underworld of human trafficking and reach them before they fall victim, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday. Research shows that children who have run away from home multiple times...
More Stories