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Degrading'? Anger After Photographer Replaces Kid's Face With Brown Smiley Face


"inappropriate sticker"

You'd think school pictures are pretty non-controversial. Not so for one school in Miami, FL.

An odd school photo has some up in arms after it was discovered the photographer edited it so that the head of one boy was covered with a brown smiley face in the final version. Why? It seems two of the students at Sawgrass Elementary hadn't signed consent forms, so they had to be removed from the photo. That's where things get a little odd, explains WPLG-TV:

Claussen [the photographer] said he was able to use the photo editing software Adobe Photoshop to lift one of the kids out, but had explained to them that there was a problem with the second student. He was sitting in the front row, right in the middle.

He showed me the notes he had written down on a white piece of paper as the pair discussed what to do. He said he would have gladly come out there to reshoot the image. Instead there was talk about putting a star over his face and then, he said,  the P.T.A. asked him to place a smiley face. [Emphasis added]

People who saw the photo told WPLG it was "degrading" and "offensive," with one adding it was humiliating.

"The PTA notified photographer after finding out that a child didn't have a signed media release form from the parent," an email from the PTA to the news station said. "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. We love and protect our children."

It's unclear why the two students were included in the picture if they had not signed permission slips. Additionally, the boy and his parents could not be found, and there's doubt about whether he even still attends the school or even saw the photo.

The photographer has been apologetic and is now being allowed to return to the school to retake the picture.

Still, it's unclear where the anger should be directed: the photographer who apparently followed the orders of the PTA, or the PTA who allegedly gave them but is now upset.

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