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Author Topic: Lawsuit involves sword in student's yearbook picture
snopes
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The mother of a high school senior who posed in chain mail with a medieval sword for his yearbook picture has sued after the school rejected the photo because of its "zero tolerance" policy against weapons.

http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/1213SwordPix13-ON.html

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Tootsie Plunkette
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Was the 'sword' made of duct-taped rattan?

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--Tootsie

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doofusmongerbeep
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Article that contains photo
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by doofusmongerbeep:
Article that contains photo

At least we know he won't be able to smuggle it to school in his purse.

Zero-tolerance rules exercise zero logic.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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PallasAthena
Xboxing Day


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I thought the poll was interesting:

quote:

Should the photo of high school senior Patrick Agin in chain mail with a sword be allowed in the school yearbook?

Yes. Banning the photo because of a weapons policy is ridiculous.
No. The policy calls for zero tolerance. That means zero.
I'm not sure -- is there a policy against excessive geekiness?

Emphasis mine. Is it just me or does this last option seem needlessly derisive? I wasn't into SCA, but why insult the kid and call him a geek because that's what he likes? Would it be better if he was just another Johnny Football Player?

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"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about." --Ray Nagin

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by doofusmongerbeep:
Article that contains photo

Because in that picture, he really looks like he's endorsing weapons in the school.

Dragons and sorcerers in his school must be quaking in their boots, m'lord.

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Cervus
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I don't think "geek" or other insults are wise terms to apply to anyone, least of all someone proficient with deadly weapons. [Wink]

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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MaxKaladin
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quote:
Originally posted by PallasAthena:
Is it just me or does this last option seem needlessly derisive?

It isn't just you.

quote:
Originally posted by PallasAthena:
Would it be better if he was just another Johnny Football Player?

I'm sure a lot of people would say "yes". I'm not one of them, but I grew up around enough of them.
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BeachLife
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I think it should be disallowed because he's got what is obviously a two handed sword being held on his shoulder with one hand and the other hand on a second sword as if he's about to unsheath it. If he does, he's going to look pretty silly in a moment.

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PallasAthena
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[lol] I tend to agree Cervus!

And Beach, I was also wondering what he was planning on doing with that 2nd sword.

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"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about." --Ray Nagin

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Aud
We Three Blings


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This is not a sword.

What is he going to do? Papercut someone to death with the yearbook page?

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
I don't think "geek" or other insults are wise terms to apply to anyone, least of all someone proficient with deadly weapons. [Wink]

"Collecting" is not the same as "proficient with."

And yeah:

Posing with crappy European swords = SCA geek
Posing with crappy Japanese swords = weaboo
Posing with crappy guns = gun nut
Posing with crappy knives = crackhead
Posing with crappy cars = icy hot stuntaz

And so forth.

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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Rhiandmoi
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When I took my senior portraits we got a little paper telling us where to go to take them, and which portraits were acceptable for the yearbook. We all had to use some sort of formal head and shoulders shot in formal clothes. I chose the ever popular velvet wrap. I am all for students expressing themselves, but if I was the yearbook adviser I would prefer that everyone just stick to the formal shots.

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What is .02 worth?

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BluesScale
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Speaking as a self avowed geek, it isn't really seen as a term of abuse any more. I play rolepaying games, I have practived with a sword even though I have no practical use for the skill and I work in IT.

I have to say that my first thought on seeing the picture was "Nice chain mail".

I couldn't and wouldn't defend myself against the charge of geekiness and I suspect that young Patrick wouldn't either :-)

Blues "Don't scare the Mundanes" Scale

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Cowboy Joe
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Because the mere viewing of something that could be considered a weapon will cause kids to go all "Columbine" and the halls will run with blood. [Roll Eyes]

Marylin Manson has to be somehow behind this, doesnt' he?

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"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." -George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

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Doug4.7
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I would have rejected the picture because of the tankard on his belt. I've been around SCA folks and my guess is that cup would not usually runeth over with Kool-Aide..... [Wink]

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
When I took my senior portraits we got a little paper telling us where to go to take them, and which portraits were acceptable for the yearbook. We all had to use some sort of formal head and shoulders shot in formal clothes. I chose the ever popular velvet wrap. I am all for students expressing themselves, but if I was the yearbook adviser I would prefer that everyone just stick to the formal shots.

I had the same experience, only we did not have a choice of what to wear for our yearbook shots. The boys had to wear a tuxedo jacket and tie, and the girls had to wear a black drape over their shoulders. I think the photographers took three shots of us in the "approved" formal wear and we could choose which of the three we wanted in the yearbook. Nothing else was acceptable for our senior portrait shot.

However, underclassmen could wear anything they wanted so long as they sat in front of the required backdrop and did not expose nipples or make obscene gestures.

After our senior yearbook portraits were taken, the photographers took a dozen more photos of us against various backdrops, posing in the other "approved" formal wear. They gave us girls different colored velvet, satin, or feathered drapes to wear for various poses. For the last shot the photographer insisted I wear a leather jacket and assume a "tough girl" pose which obviously came out looking absurd. If you were in band or a sport you could pose in your uniform, but none of the photos I've mentioned in this paragraph were acceptable to be published as our yearbook portrait. We could only purchase them for ourselves, or pay to publish them in the advertising/personal page section.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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PallasAthena
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by BluesScale:
Speaking as a self avowed geek, it isn't really seen as a term of abuse any more. I play rolepaying games, I have practived with a sword even though I have no practical use for the skill and I work in IT.

I have to say that my first thought on seeing the picture was "Nice chain mail".

I couldn't and wouldn't defend myself against the charge of geekiness and I suspect that young Patrick wouldn't either :-)

Blues "Don't scare the Mundanes" Scale

Oh, I totally get this. In fact, I call myself a geek on a regular basis. It's entirely different when some jerky newspaper calls me (or one like me) a geek. It's just unprofessional.

Sorry! Didn't mean to hijack the thread!

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"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about." --Ray Nagin

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Purple Iguana
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr:

Zero-tolerance rules exercise zero logic.

And this pretty much sums up my opinion about zero tolerance anything. Yes, we should have rules. Yes, some of them should be REALLY strict. But NEVER should actual thought be taken out of the equation. What's next? Getting suspended from school for DRAWING a knife or gun because the administration figures it's the next best thing to having a "hit list?" Getting kicked out for SAYING "knife" or "gun," because some twitchy schmuck with a bug up his butt thinks that means one is stashed on school grounds?

God knows I'm not necessarily the smartest cookie in the pack, but even I know that zero tolerance is just an excuse for those in authority to get lazy about where the line is drawn. And yes, I say lazy, because without zero tolerance, there will always be some whiner who says that their infraction isn't so bad, which causes those in authority to reconsider their restrictions, blah blah, whereas just saying zero tolerance draws a line that they never have to look at again.

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Finite Fourier Alchemy:


Posing with crappy European swords = SCA geek
Posing with crappy Japanese swords = weaboo
Posing with crappy guns = gun nut
Posing with crappy knives = crackhead
Posing with crappy cars = icy hot stuntaz

And so forth. [/QB]

And you can tell that it is a 'crappy' sword just by looking at a photograph of it? You must be good; I'd really have to examine it in person and handle it a bit.

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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Errata
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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
I think it should be disallowed because he's got what is obviously a two handed sword being held on his shoulder with one hand and the other hand on a second sword as if he's about to unsheath it. If he does, he's going to look pretty silly in a moment.

*adjusts cokebottle glasses with taped up bridge and pulls calculator from pocket protector* Technically, if he's taken the Monkey Grip feat from the Sword and Fist supplement, then he can wield it in his primary hand at a -2 attack roll penalty. Of course he'd have to be at least level 3 with strength 13 and a weapon focus in greatsword. To attain that he would have had to murder at least a few dozen people. So he should be arrested.
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evilrabbit
Jingle Bell Hock


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Meh. Z's got nicer swords than that.
quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
I think it should be disallowed because he's got what is obviously a two handed sword being held on his shoulder with one hand and the other hand on a second sword as if he's about to unsheath it. If he does, he's going to look pretty silly in a moment.

*adjusts cokebottle glasses with taped up bridge and pulls calculator from pocket protector* Technically, if he's taken the Monkey Grip feat from the Sword and Fist supplement, then he can wield it in his primary hand at a -2 attack roll penalty. Of course he'd have to be at least level 3 with strength 13 and a weapon focus in greatsword. To attain that he would have had to murder at least a few dozen people. So he should be arrested.
[lol]

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"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

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Sandman
Deck the Malls


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I have no problem at all with someone collecting this kind of stuff...ahem....I have a bit of it myself and spent about 60% of the years between age 14 and age 22 playing D&D. I think it's great he has a hobby and seems to be pretty dedicated to it.

The thing is...will he really want that picture in his yearbook in 10, 20 years? Hell, I deeply regret the Magnum PI mustache, Lionel Ritchee T-Shirt, and pseudo-Flock of Seagulls mullet in my own pic, but at least it was normal for the time.

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Salamander
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quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
*adjusts cokebottle glasses with taped up bridge and pulls calculator from pocket protector* Technically, if he's taken the Monkey Grip feat from the Sword and Fist supplement, then he can wield it in his primary hand at a -2 attack roll penalty. Of course he'd have to be at least level 3 with strength 13 and a weapon focus in greatsword. To attain that he would have had to murder at least a few dozen people. So he should be arrested.

[nerd]Although it should be noted that the xp reward system for D&D 3.5 does state that xp is awarded for overcoming an encounter, it is doesn't specifically state that violence is required.

As long as the result of the encounter is deemed successful for the party, xp should be awarded. It is quite possible the guy in question talked his way out of a lot of fights. Having said that, I would typically assign a low Challenge Rating to most encounters in a highschool unless it is renown for having a large number of jocks.

Which means he's done an awful lot of ass-kissing to achieve level 3.

Or he kills people.

[/nerd]

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Joe Bentley
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quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
Yes, we should have rules. Yes, some of them should be REALLY strict. But NEVER should actual thought be taken out of the equation.

God knows I'm not necessarily the smartest cookie in the pack, but even I know that zero tolerance is just an excuse for those in authority to get lazy about where the line is drawn. And yes, I say lazy, because without zero tolerance, there will always be some whiner who says that their infraction isn't so bad, which causes those in authority to reconsider their restrictions, blah blah, whereas just saying zero tolerance draws a line that they never have to look at again.

I think you probably hit on the truth with that. The problem with putting thought into an equation is that without fail someone is going to argue with it.

I hate zero tolerance policies, but I have a gut feeling there were born more out of exasperation then out of laziness.

I'm betting you can trace most zero tolerance policies back to some frustrated person in authority who got sick of listening to every single idiot out who broke the rule bitch and moan about how their circumstance were different and you didn't suspend little Timmy when he brought the lighter so school so how can you suspend little Mikey for bringing a flamethrower and can't you see it's the same thing, you are being so unreasonable and blah blah blah.

I agree with you that zero tolerance policies are probably created so the people in authority don't have to keep looking at the line, but also probably because they got sick of every Tom, Dick, and Harry arguing with them about where the line was.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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mags
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
Getting suspended from school for DRAWING a knife or gun because the administration figures it's the next best thing to having a "hit list?"

[hijack]It's a good thing I went to school when teachers and school officials were still allowed to use their brains, before all this zero-tolerance bull crap.

During high school, I took my art class sketch book with me to saturday school (detention on saturday, like the Breakfast Club only way more boring), to have something to do. It's the one and only time I ever got in trouble in my entire school career, and really, what I did wasn't wrong, it's just that when you give a little man a little power, he gets all excited about it. It's funny, everyone except the little prick who gave me the saturday school actually apologized to me about the whole thing, including the vice principal when I had to go talk to her as a part of my "punishment."

Anyway, I was really peeved at said little prick on the day of my saturday school, so one of the drawings I did in my sketch book was a dagger sticking out of a round little belly that looked remarkably like his. Now, I fully intended to take that page out of my sketchbook before I turned it in for my art class's weekly check of our sketches. I did move it to the back of the book, and didn't think anything about it. A few weeks later, I noticed the drawing was in there, and at some point my art teacher had added a little check-plus in red ink, along with a question mark. He never mentioned it to me though.

I'm certain that if I did that in a zero tolerance situation, I'd have been having to go to weekly therapy sessions, and probably kicked out of school.

As it was, in the time past when school officials were able to think, the little prick who gave me a saturday school for "insubordination" (refusing- firmly but respectfully, because my own health was at risk- to do something he told me to do, during an extracurricular activity) was not asked to return to the school to teach the next year. I don't think the thing with me was the only reason, but I know it was at least part of it.[/hijack]

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Spamamander in a pear tree
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[hijack]
- snorts at some of the posters on this thread -

REAL geeks don't use 3.0- 3.5 AD&D rules. They use the much more complex, unwieldy, and book-intensive second edition.

[/end hijack]

I surely hope they remove the history textbooks from the school, there may be pictures of people at war.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
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DH was in the SCA for a couple of years. I showed him the article with the picture, and the only thing he said about it was that he was under the impression that most schools at least cropped the photos to be a head and shoulder shot. In which case, there might be a little bit of the blade showing, then there might not.

Even if it was denied for the yearbook, why not just get wallet prints of the photo to hand out to friends?

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Elsie
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Sandman:
The thing is...will he really want that picture in his yearbook in 10, 20 years? Hell, I deeply regret the Magnum PI mustache, Lionel Ritchee T-Shirt, and pseudo-Flock of Seagulls mullet in my own pic, but at least it was normal for the time.

Ya' know, I couldn't help but wonder the exact same thing. Of course, that just shows how old and out of touch with current trends I am. When I was in HS, our senior pictures were the exact same standard school pictures as everyone else's except ours were slightly larger and in color. It has always struck me as odd that some schools nowadays allow students to submit any old picture they want.

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Diesa
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I t was the same for me in school we had cap and gown pic anf fornal pic but now they try to let the students show a piece of themselves outside of school, it can get a little complicated out in the sticks where I live they still do the formal pics but in town they let the students express themselves as a member of the SCA I myself see nothing wrong with this picture. As for the tankard on his belt the SCA is very strict at events about underage drinking, An underage meber must be there with a parent oor guardian if they are are served alchol or mead they are promptly escorted from the event and can be banned from attending any further events as well as the adult who allowed them the alchol
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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Diesa:
As for the tankard on his belt the SCA is very strict at events about underage drinking, An underage meber must be there with a parent oor guardian if they are are served alchol or mead they are promptly escorted from the event and can be banned from attending any further events as well as the adult who allowed them the alchol

I agree fully...

Pass the tankard....

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And now for something completely different...

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Algae
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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While we didn't have to choose the velvet wrap for our Senior yearbook photo, it was supposed to only our head and shoulders. The OP picture wouldn't be allowed as they didn't allow that wide of a shot.

We were allowed to go pretty much anywhere, though, and most of us got a whole bunch of pictures that we used to pass out to friends. Usually with something glurgey written on the back.

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Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Don't drink and derive!

Posts: 1957 | From: Southeast Michigan | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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When my sons had their senior pics. taken we could not afford a professional photographer. They had a friend with a nice camera and a few years under her belt as a photography hobbyist who offered to take the pictures. The pictures came out pretty well; when I went to the local grocery to have them sized and copied it took a little time to convince the guy in the photo booth that they weren't copyright protected.

They chose several locations and poses. For the yearbook DS 1 chose one of him leaning on our arbor/trellis, DS 2 chose one of him leaning back on a loose pile of rocks at a very scenic spot outside of town. #1 was wearing a casual shirt and tie. This isn't formal for him. DS 2 was wearing a band t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. They both looked nice, and most importantly like who they are. I think if the parents are paying for the picture the school should print whatever is submitted within reason of course;(here's where thought and reasoning ability comes in.)

I can't believe all these velvet wrap, phony pearls, and tuxedos [Confused] [Eek!] (horror) stories. How depersonalizing, boring, and pointless. One of the few things I like about our school is that they do allow the kids to express themselves in their pictures...after all it is the student's picture, and a statement of who they are at that important moment in time. Even when I was in school we picked our own clothes, (though it had to be dressy) poses, and backgrounds.

P&LL, Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

Posts: 1944 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
When my sons had their senior pics. taken we could not afford a professional photographer.

The school didn't provide its own photographer? WTF?

quote:

I can't believe all these velvet wrap, phony pearls, and tuxedos [Confused] [Eek!] (horror) stories.

I wouldn't call it a horror story. For some people like me, it was the first time a professional photographer made me look pretty. (Except for the leather jacket photo.) Most of us were pleasantly surprised at how good the photos came out and how nice we looked. So were our parents. We weren't obligated to buy any photos, nor were we supposed to provide our own. I've never been to a school that didn't hire professional photographers to take yearbook photos of the students.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

Posts: 8254 | From: Florida | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
quote:
Originally posted by AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr:

Zero-tolerance rules exercise zero logic.

And this pretty much sums up my opinion about zero tolerance anything. Yes, we should have rules. Yes, some of them should be REALLY strict. But NEVER should actual thought be taken out of the equation. What's next? Getting suspended from school for DRAWING a knife or gun because the administration figures it's the next best thing to having a "hit list?" Getting kicked out for SAYING "knife" or "gun," because some twitchy schmuck with a bug up his butt thinks that means one is stashed on school grounds?
Do you feel the same way about people uttering the word "bomb" in an airport being taken as a serious security threat?

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

Posts: 8254 | From: Florida | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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