A California eighth grader said she was pulled out of class and reprimanded for having photographs in her binder — snapshots that included her military policeman brother stationed in Montana.
Brianna Gentry, 13, is a student at Golden Valley Middle School in San Bernardino, Calif. She told KTLA-TV the photos — one of her softball team as well — apparently violated an unwritten rule against “added material” in the notebook for the advanced program she’s in.
“The counselor took me out of class twice telling me that the pictures are added material,” Brianna told KTLA. “But they haven’t pulled any other students with pictures out from their class. … Just me.”
Jaima Eudy, Brianna’s mother, was furious when she found out and wrote a letter to the school saying Brianna was being singled out and discriminated against for having a military photo.
“Her brother is a positive role model in her life,” Eudy told the station. “She’s very active in Little League. She has been for six years. So these are things that are happy moments for her. … I think if you’re going to enforce a rule, the rule should apply to all children.”
The school sent back a list of guidelines for keeping a notebook — guidelines that didn’t mention keeping pictures in the binder.
KTLA intervened and asked the school district why Brianna couldn’t keep a photo of her brother. The district relented and said Brianna could keep his picture in there, but that the softball team had to go.
“We want our students to be successful, and if this is the type of motivation that’s going to help this young lady succeed, then by all means we’ll support her efforts,” school district spokeswoman Linda Bardere told KTLA.
Brianna and her mother agreed to the compromise.
“My brother’s very important to me,” Brianna told KTLA. “I haven’t seen him in a while.”