Recently a special needs student with Down Syndrome was left out of her school’s yearbook because, we can guess, because her photo wasn’t portraying what school administrators wanted their learning environment to be about. Link to full story
At about the same time, there were two senior young ladies who stepped outside the traditional girls’ outfit for a graduation photo. Instead, one wore a tuxedo with a bowtie and the other sported a regular tie and jacket. They got zapped by the wrath of their school administrators who didn’t allow their photos in the yearbook. Link to full story
Along with the above, the photos of two other young ladies who posed for their senior shots baring too much skin got updated, thanks to photoshop, appearing in tops that covered cleavage and tattoos. Link to full story
Where’s the equal opportunity for rejection here? Where are the male students being zinged for not representing their schools in a manner approved by the higher-ups?
Oh, it happens!
My eleven-year-old son was yanked from the photo lineup and sent to his counselor’s office and instructed to dig through a box of discarded dress shirts to find something more “suited” for a class photo than the t-shirt he was wearing.
“What!” I screeched, as he told me this tale of discrimination. “Quick, find that announcement you brought home.”
It was recovered from the kitchen bulletin board. No instructions were contained therein as to who was to wear what.
Fifty years ago there was no Twitter hash tag. There was no Facebook to send out the word.
Fifty years ago, it was old-time communication; I went to see the principal. Charlie Lett was his name. And with no shame, he said, “Yes,” he’d removed my son and another kid who wore a t-shirt and he said they didn’t present a good image of the school.
Lett informed me the other kid changed shirts but that my son didn’t want to use the substitute one offered to him.
“Uh, huh,” I said to myself as I left his office.
Next stop—the Board of Education Office on South Hudson Avenue in beautiful downtown Pasadena. I met with two assistant superintendents who treated me like I had no business making a fuss.
They thanked me for having made the appointment but indicated Lett was just doing his job.
“Uh, huh,” I said out loud as I left.
Next stop—Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
I told the story. He didn’t like what he heard. He picked up his phone. Told his secretary to dial up Charlie Lett.
Lett got on the wire and Cortines had just one sentence.
“This is Ray and I want a photographer at that school and i want every 7th-grade student’s picture taken even if they’re wearing a Halloween costume.”
He hung up, turned to me, smiled and asked if there was anything else I needed.,
Here we are fifty years later and it’s clear—some things never change