Thursday, June 16, 2011

I can't think of anyone more worthy of this honor.

Unrelated: And this is a tiresome story. I'm something of a detective, but without closely examining the photo in question and knowing the dynamics of the school relationships, I cannot tell whether this was a prank, or a mistake at the printer. It strikes me as much ado about nothing, however.

I know this article says the yearbook printer is absorbing the cost even though it wasn't their fault, but there were two other errors, at least one of which was definitely their fault: the name of the school on the spine of the book has an upper case letter where there should be a lower case one. (The other mistake was text printed over a picture.) So even without the altered picture, the printer didn't exactly do a top notch job. Interestingly, the article does not mention either problem, and simply continues the assertion that the photo was maliciously altered.

Cutting pictures out? Calling the police in? Ridiculous. I mean, I know bullying is awful (I wasn't exactly a member of the popular club in high school) but this is taking things to an extreme. Granted, these volumes were a lot cheaper in the past, but my last name was misspelled in my yearbook (with all those diphthongs it would have been more shocking if it had been spelled correctly). I don't remember anyone caring about that (even me). I saw the picture on a news report, and it might just be a printing error. It's very subtle for a prank.  But, I suppose that may be why it slipped through and the perpetrators knew it would. However, even if it was purposefully doctored, so what? Why the hysteria, the threats of lawsuits? "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" Film at 11. I'm reminded of my students complaining about the cancellation of Fountain Day. With wars, unemployment, a slow economy, tornado damage...this is what you get worked up about? Welcome to the real world, I say. Hothouse flowers need not apply.

Maybe that seems mean and uncaring. I know the political environment of school is no picnic, and also that schools are under the microscope about everything these days, bullying included. Maybe the girl is a likely victim, which is why they jumped to the conclusion that it was done on purpose, and there was no way they could hand them out without repercussions. (Why does the Steve Buscemi phone call in Billy Madison come to mind?) Even at that, this was completely mishandled. Why didn't they move to have the yearbooks (or just the page) re-printed before this hit the front page as a scandal, and schedule a signing day over the summer for the seniors?

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