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Parents React to “Degrading” Second Grade Class Photo
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Parents have managed to be extremely offended by a class photo from Sawgrass Elementary which made the apparently “degrading” choice to use a smiley rather than a star to obscure the picture of a child whose parents had not given permission for him to be in the photo.

Of the two children in the picture who lacked parental consent, the camera man, David Claussen, managed to shop out one of them completely, but the other kid was sitting smack dab in the middle of the front row. He wanted to use a star to obscure the child’s face, in deference to his parent’s wishes he not be in the photo, but school administration went against his wishes and told him to use a smiley. The brown smiley apparently was greatly upsetting.

“It was totally inappropriate,” said Broward School District spokeswoman Marsy Smith. She said that the school’s principle, Sherry Rose also was upset: “She was very, very upset and immediately took action to reschedule a picture-taking session for Thursday.”

  
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The P.T.A. also reacted negatively, saying that “The PTA notified the photographer after finding out that the child didn’t have a signed media release from the parent. Broward Schools Photography covered the child’s face using an inappropriate sticker. The PTA disagrees with how the photography company handled it and worked with the photographer to have the picture retaken this Thursday. Immediate action was taken on behalf of the PTA.”And they added, “We love and protect our children.”

Cluassen and his wife have been taking school pictures for 37 years, and this is their first 2nd grade picture scandal. One parent thinks the entire escapade is overblown: “this is a great school and should not be tarnished by negative publicity that is being misinterpreted for anything more than it is … an oversight that has been corrected. This class teacher is an excellent teacher, the administration is very responsive.”

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