Here in the photogenic offices of The Curmudgeon, not only are the environs photograph-worthy, but many of the staff are attractive people—like the pictures that come with a new wallet. To document both, each year I organize a yearly staff photo. We have our share of clowns too, who can be expected to make a goofy face or hold up “bunny ears” behind another. It’s harmless really, and if that’s their personality, buy all means let it show.
That’s what 15-year-old Charlie Patton, a student in San Antonio, Texas, did, when she made a funny face in her school photo. What she wasn’t expecting—what nobody could suspect really—was that she would be punished. Yes. Those keepers of morality and taste, those “deciders” of what constitutes humor and what does not, have decided not to publish her photo in the yearbook, eliminating her entirely.
She was only trying to make people smile, she said. “The camera girl looked at my mom and said, ‘You alright with that, mom?’” The mom said “Sure, of course.”
But it wasn’t alright to school administrators. They wanted to see what else they could pin on the girl. They began comparing the photo to gang signs to see if they could find a connection. I wonder how long they discussed the possibility of planting drugs in her locker?
The education Nazi’s released a statement saying, among other things, that the yearbook represents the school and all students, and every student should be presented in the best light. “Students who make inappropriate faces or gestures or who do not follow the school dress code in their yearbook photos are asked to retake their photo free of charge.”
But Patton, who is active in the school drama department, said she wasn’t asked or given the option of retaking her photo.
I suppose it would be okay if a mentally challenged person made a funny face, because, you know, they always had a funny face, or maybe the school wouldn’t want retarded people from being associated with their school.
Schools are always complaining about parents taking more responsibility for raising their kids so the schools aren’t saddled with this extra charge, instead being allowed to do only what they are meant to do, and that is teach. I’m not buying that story anymore. Apparently, they are in the business of raising your kids, of dictating to them the difference between right and wrong, of damn well teaching the bible if that’s what they want, whether you want them to or not. The mother was right there and gave her approval. You can’t have it both ways.
How dare you disregard this girl’s mother’s decision. The villainous student appears to me to be a well-raised, intelligent, attractive young lady. You need to butt out of her life—of all student’s lives—and work on improving the shoddy work you all do with education. A world-wide disgrace, our education system is, but go ahead and spend your time trying to find gang symbols in smiling photo’s or how to get “One nation under God” back in the pledge of allegiance. This was in Texas? Why didn’t you just have a member of the gun club shoot her?
I’ve been trying to watch my language, but you know what?
Bug off, assholes!
(Information for this story came from KENS 5, written by the esteemed Stacia Willson.)