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High School Student is Punished For Making a Funny Face in Her School Photo

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KENS5.com: A James Madison High School student is being punished for making a funny face in her school photo. As a result, school officials have decided not to print her picture in the yearbook.

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15-year-old Charlie Patton says she made a weird face because she was trying to make people smile. On photo day, she said the photographer hesitated before taking the snapshot.

"The camera girl looked at my mom and said, 'You alright with that, mom?'" Patton recalls. "My mom said, 'Sure, of course.'"

But administrators didn't approve of the image. School officials are comparing her expression in her school picture to gang signs.

Northeast ISD school officials released a statement to KENS 5 that read, "Since the yearbook represents the school and the students, the goal is to have every student 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."

Patton, who is also active in the school's drama department, says she was never asked to retake her picture.

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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Emily Art December 3, 2009, 7:00 AM

I would much rather see that face, than the sulking, miserable faces a lot of kids make. I think the school board has taken it too far.

maeby December 3, 2009, 7:11 AM

completely agree with Emily. How is that face offensive? she actually looks HAPPY. Why are school boards such idiots?

Rachel December 3, 2009, 7:23 AM

Can you imagine if every child made a face like that in the yearbook? It probably be a blast for everyone! I agree with the other two posters.

Joel December 3, 2009, 8:08 AM

Exactly what’s wrong. She looks like she’s happy. When the hell did THAT happen? Our children aren’t supposed to be happy in school. They’re supposed to be sheep. Smiling is against the rules. Get back in the classroom, sheep!

marc December 3, 2009, 8:10 AM

You Americans are sooo strange…

Misty December 3, 2009, 8:13 AM

Such a gang sign *tsk tsk*. Because that face says you’re in my hood. *Giggle*
Seriously, can we make schools any more drab? Wake up school board. Stop banning kids for being kids. No wonder our children are being forced to grow up so fast.
-Misty

chris December 3, 2009, 9:02 AM

My teenage son hasn’t smiled in his last three years of school pictures…I would gladly take this picture over his!

MarMar December 3, 2009, 10:58 AM

The kid’s showing personality - HORRORS! But seriously, if there was a problem with the photo, why didn’t they have her re-take it, rather than wait until yearbook time and then omit her? I guarantee, btw, that next year her picture won’t be so sunny - after this experience, I’m sure she doesn’t feel like smiling so much at school any more. Way to crush a spirit, school board!

Anonymous December 3, 2009, 12:42 PM

though i do not agree that this picture is ‘so terrible’ i could see where the school is coming from. if all students were allowed to ‘express themselves’ where would you draw the line? the haircuts? screwed up faces? halloween makeup? there are different places in the yearbook for different expressions and the formal pictures show them in a respectable manner whereas the other pages show them in their day-to-day lives being themselves. being that nowadays, there are all sorts of access to pictures new and old through the internet, yearbook pictures are easily accessible. would prospective employers see that as a negative?

egene December 3, 2009, 5:42 PM

Another sign of desparation on the part of school boards to show cause why they should remain on the board or not. Obviously, these particular members should be removed from the board and replaced with reasonable thinking common sense members who can appreciate an individuals right to express their personal feelings at the moment of the photo session. For the love of God, she is still a child. If anyone will suffer, she might in years to come regret her action, but then again, maybe not. The board members should be required to pay out of their pockets the reprinting of the year book that will include the young lady. Make representatives totally responsible for their decisions, whether they be right or wrong and in this case absolutely wrong.

gngs December 3, 2009, 7:35 PM

This school needs to lighten up. This picture made me smile. Is that so bad.

JM Parent December 4, 2009, 5:16 PM

This poor girl has two “haters” sites on facebook now. She is not the one embarassing James Madison High School.

tennmom December 7, 2009, 10:33 AM

I think it’s a cute pic. I photograph horribly! My right eye (a bit smaller than my left) always seems to be squinting. I look somewhat stoned in pictures.

Anonymous February 3, 2010, 8:44 AM

How the hell is that related to gang signs? Those school officials are full of crap.

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