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Teen Kicked Out of Yearbook For Funny Face

By jeannesager |

charlie-pattonA 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?

Image: KENS5

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About jeannesager



Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and photographer living in upstate New York with her husband and daughter, Jillian. She maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at

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0 thoughts on “Teen Kicked Out of Yearbook For Funny Face

  1. Bec says:

    Ouch. Not that far.

  2. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    I think the pic is awesome and the school should have allowed it to run. She should make the exact same face for her driver’s license!

  3. maeby says:

    i love the picture.

  4. JCF says:

    I don’t understand why she just couldn’t have gotten her picture retaken in a manner than was considered appropriate by the school, rather than being completely left out!

  5. LogicalMama says:

    I think it’s lame the school wouldn’t publish the photo. 20 years from now, everyone in her class would look back at the yearbook and remember this and it would be funny then just as it is now. If this is the girl’s personality, then praise her for exercising her right to express herself freely! She’s not naked, it’s not offensive in any way!

  6. [...] Teen Kicked Out of Yearbook For Funny Face [...]

  7. [...] Teen Kicked Out of Yearbook For Funny Face [...]

  8. [...] Teen Kicked Out of Yearbook For Funny Face [...]

  9. Hope says:

    how’s that a “gang sign?”

  10. Rosana says:

    soooo… taking pictures that will embarrass yourself in the future, is ok (you know with the big hair trend of the 90′s and stuff) but to take a picture that you will like even in the future (because that is who she is) it is not acceptable? I mean, I look at my husband’s yearbooks and I wonder what were people thinking? There hairstyle was horrible (literally) at any decade, but they were still allowed on the yearbook. Ugh!!

  11. winston says:

    Conform or be silenced!
    She did the same thing Einstein did when he stuck out his tongue at photographers in that famous photo of him; remind us not to take things seriousl and that joy is what it’s really all about.

  12. Gaia Coleman says:

    So now I cant cross my eyes in photos for fear of being left out. Oh wait! That’s happened my whole life just cuz I’m diff. ITS A HATE-2-PERSONALITY CRIME!!!!!!!!

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