A fifteen-year-old girl who made a goofy face in her school picture won’t be in the yearbook – because the school says it’s a gang sign.
If you know a gang that identifies itself with a wide open mouth, messed up hair and a goofy eyes, let us know.
Texas teen Charlie Patton’s mom OK’d the shot, but the school wasn’t happy when they got the pictures from the photographer. They told the Pattons she was being kept out of the yearbook, telling the San Antonio news network “Since the yearbook represents the school and the students, the goal is to have every student presented in the best light.”
But what counts as the best light? My daughter was on the long line for soccer pictures a few months ago, and when she got to the front, she would only stick her tongue out. A photographer by trade, I knew what the photographer was going through, so I threw up my hands and said “just take it.”
A few weeks later, I got a call from the studio – they didn’t think the photo was appropriate and they were willing to offer me my package free of charge. I appreciated the gesture, but really, I said, I told him to take it. That’s my daughter’s personality on camera – she’s a total goof ball. And that’s the way Charlie Patton is – she says she was just trying to make people laugh.
The point of the high school yearbook is to record the students in the school. And that means recording the kids as imperfect – because kids are. Patton says she feels like she was deleted from the school – along with her personality.
How far are we willing to go to strip kids of their individuality?
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