"We've thrown common sense out the window"

I couldn't agree more with that statement from a photographer whose portrait of a high school senior was deemed unacceptable for the school yearbook because she posed with a prop: a flower.

Flowers in the background are acceptable, mind you, as are trees. You just are not allowed to hold anything in your hands in the picture. No matter how innocuous and benign it may be.

See, some guy wanted to pose with a gun a couple of years ago, and these brilliant school officials could not figure out how to ban posing with guns without banning posing with flowers.

I think this one deserves a great big "sheesh".

Teen's yearbook photo banned for flower


Well-Known Member
I think I could write the policy.

Dear Parents: It is the XXX School District's policy to not allow weapons, drugs or other illegal Paraphernalia to be displayed in our yearbook photographs or other advertisements. Please ask your children to comply with this request. Thank you in advance.
We parents here probably encounter this more often than others, since we have to deal with "the system" so often. How many times has this scenario played out in different permutations?

- Some incident occurs
- Reacting to the incident, an ill-thought-out policy is adopted
- The policy is then mindlessly enforced regardless of whether it makes sense or not

It seems like we constantly see cases like this. A school downstate canceled a long-standing Civil War battle re-enactment because the mock-up guns used violated their zero-tolerance weapons policy. I heard of a first-grader being suspended for hugging a girl in violation of sexual-harassment policies.

In the story, it wasn't even the same district as where the kid wanted to pose with a gun! They just heard about it and wanted to avoid "similar scuffles." How likely was it that they would run into the same problem? If they did, the court already upheld the other district anyway, so what's the big deal? Now their attempt to avoid a scuffle has landed them in the news looking very foolish.

If it was up to me, I would put in the student handbook: "The administration reserves the right to reject photos that are judged to be inappropriate." You just can't write a policy that will cover every conceivable situation, you have to leave room for judgment. Even specifically banning guns in photos could lead to problems, e.g. what about drill team/JROTC pics? Surely reasonable people could agree that a shot of the JROTC squad drilling would be OK but one of a student with a handgun not? [/rant]


Both incidents are "out there" in my opinion.

One of my pet peeves though is punishing a student in an attempt to control the parent -- this incident or others. Talk about setting my hair on fire.....
OK, I agree with the diploma one.

I am in disagreement with the majority on the picture one. When I was in school, and 20 years later when my daughter graduated (and 20 years earlier when my mom graduated) you go a series of pictures taken. Some with props, some without, some full body, some portrait. You got to choose between like 8 or 10 portrait, no prop pictures to go into the yearbook. The other pictures you could do ANYTHING you wanted with. You could send to friends and family, get 8X10, whatever. But the senior pictures were to look uniform, all face, no props. Why? Because if you could not get the big packages with the props and that, you still got your picture in the yearbook.



call 911........call 911
To assume that (most) School Districts have ANY sense is ridiculous in the first place. Apologies to those who work there - it's not YOU I'm speaking about.

-I have my reasons.

Star :flower: I'm glad it's not against the rules HERE
BBK, I see your point. In my school days we did the same, you were marched through the school pictures process and that was what went in the yearbook. Whatever else you wanted done on your own was up to you. Nothing wrong with that. Probably better to do it that way for the same reason that some schools have uniforms.

But this school apparently has the seniors submit a picture. If they want to spell out a policy for uniformity, that's fine. But they didn't. They invented this rule specifically because of an isolated incident in a nearby district in a misguided attempt to avoid controversy and wound up in a much higher-profile controversy because of their mindless inflexibility, their attempt to impose a one-size-fits-all rule instead of using judgment and sense.
I get what you are saying. A lot of school districts have found themselves having to play the game of CYOA. A couple years ago I remember hearing about a little boy in Kindergarten who was suspended for kissing a girl.

"sexual harrassment".


Roll With It
Heck, I am surprised that the whole nonsense even came up. But, when I was in high school our student handbook specified that "all guns must be locked in the gun rack in your vehicle."

This was in the late 1980's. And the times someone in authority found a gun in a car that wasn't locked the principal held it in the office until after school.

But then again, I live in Oklahoma.



Well-Known Member
You want to read something funny? Duckie is on a small bus this year because she carries an epipen. There are four students on the bus. Three with epipens, and the other is the sibling of one of the epipen-holders. Two of these epipen kids are highly allergic to peanuts, Duckie is not. The bus is nut-free and these other two allergic kids are in nut-free classrooms and sit at the allergy table at lunch. Duckie is in a regular classroom and doesn't sit at the allergy table.
The busing arrangement was made because the one child is so sensitive that there was concern that he could have a nut exposure on the regular bus, the other students (including Duckie) were placed on the bus due to their epipen status. Makes sense, right? They may as well fully use the district resources as much as possible since this child has a clear cut need for special transportation, right?
I asked the nurse what happens if Duckie buys her lunch one day or has a peanut-containing treat in her classroom and then gets on the bus. What procedure has been put in place to ensure this child doesn't get exposed in such a small area by my daughter?
Our school nurse is a real gem. She thanked me for thinking that part through when no one else had. Duckie's hands and face are washed before dismissal in an attempt to reduce the risk of exposure to this other highly allergic child. I have no idea about the sibling.


You have to select, "School memo delays 911 call"...I'm assuming that's the one you meant, SRL.

The Principal and Assistant Principal "could" face disciplinary action. What a joke.
Here's a link to a text version of the story linked by SRL above:

NY Daily News story about memo banning 911 calls
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The typed words on the school memo are as direct as they are stunning: "No Deans are permitted to call 911 for any reason."


The author of the memo and the school's principal have both since left ...


In February, Jamaica High School was placed on the city's impact list of dangerous schools. Some staffers said they felt penalized for honestly reporting crime. They also said they felt pressured to drive down the stats.

Seemingly to that end, Guy Venezia, the assistant principal for security, sent the one-line memo to the school's deans on April 12, instructing them not to call 911.

[...] </div></div>
This case is an order of magnitude worse than the flower incident. That one was merely arbitrary and stupid, but there was no actual wrongdoing. In this one there was a conscious, deliberate effort to cover up, at the cost of at least one student's wellbeing. Thankfully this one was caught and exposed by a reporter (an excellent bit of investigative reporting in my opinion). Thanks for the link and clarification, SRL and wyntersgrace. I just wonder how many schools have the same policy, only not in writing.


Active Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: tiredmommy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Our school nurse is a real gem. </div></div>

Whew...before getting to this paragraph I was concerned the nurse might be of the "I know nothing about your son's asthma forms" school of thought. :wink:


Well-Known Member
SRL, the problem is that this new busing system was put together 2.5 weeks before school started. It was handled by the transportation dept for the Special Education dept, with no input from the health staff until the last few days before school started. The poor nurse's head must be spinning trying to cover all the changes and accommodations.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
As always, there are two sides to every story. You would not believe the inappropriate way some parents (and extended families) behave at a dignified ceremony like graduation.

They ring cowbells, blow horns, and scream and clap when their little darling's name is announced.

So you might ask what is wrong with that? Well, it drowns out the next child's name so their family doesn't get the pleasure of hearing it announced and turns the ceremony into a circus.

In the case SRL was referring to, I believe that the parents and students were notified in writing in advance. Our principal always asks nicely at the start of the ceremony that the audience hold the applause until after all (500) names have been called. There are always, some, though, that think the rules don't apply to them.

One other thing ~ I like what David Lettermen told Bill O'Reilly on this show when Bill was bloviating about the "attack" on Christmas in this country. David said that you can always find a few isolated instances where some nutjob does something stupid but that Bill shouldn't try to blow it up to something that it's not.

Many of these examples seem like the same thing to me.

Just my humble opinion. . .



Well-Known Member
Count me in as the "other side" too. You have no idea what some kids, and parents, do. Then, it leaves administrators playing Soloman deciding where the line is drawn. If flowers are okay, then what else will someone else will come up with because it's "harmless". Some students, and their parents, will push it to the limit.

It reminds of my Son's "graduation" from elementary school. Parents were asked not to bring balloon bouquets to the ceremony. Why? Because I can't SEE my child walk across the stage because their obnoxious balloons are blocking the view! Some of those things are HUGE.

Sure enough, some did bring some. Then they were asked to stand in the back of the facility. Some of them actually grumbled and cursed because they had to move into the back, the bunch of clueless idiots! :grrr:

I get what your saying about it sometimes seems like it's out of control, but walk in mile in their shoes...
The sense of entitlement (see general forum for discussion), sadly, is not limited only to our young difficult children.

Sooooo many parents who think their child is sooooooo much more important are simply OOZING entitlement. They are the same ones who pull their Navigators up into the handicapped spots.