A photo of a high school senior intended to celebrate her hard work leading up to graduation has been barred from the yearbook, with school officials saying the photo is not “respectful or appropriate.”
Morgan Truax is an 18-year-old who works at the local Red Wing Diner. To congratulate his employee on graduating from Foxborough High School, Liam Murphy, the owner of the diner, decided to take out an ad in the yearbook. “I wanted to honor Morgan in the yearbook, and we took out a page to say congrats for all the hard work,” he told WFXT.
The photo shows Truax standing in front of what appears to be an American flag. In the image, it looks as if Truax is standing on the lower portion of the flag, though in fact she is standing in front of a photo backdrop, not an actual flag. “This was simply just one of thousands of photography backdrops to depict the American flag,” Murphy told WGN. “It is not a real flag. It’s not something you would hang on a flagpole. It is literally something that is red, white, and blue that we found patriotic.”
Still, the school deemed the image unfit for the yearbook. “The photo showed the United States flag hanging on a wall with the lower portion lying on the floor and the student standing on the flag. We do not view standing on the U.S. flag as respectful or appropriate,” Foxborough High School Principal Diana M. Myers-Pachla said in a statement to WFXT.
But Morgan’s mother, Lisa Truax, says the school is being unreasonable. “This is a commercially produced photography backdrop, not an American flag. My 18-year-old daughter wanted to show her patriotism,” Lisa wrote beneath a Facebook post of the image. “We truly mean no disrespect to FHS, the veterans, and the American flag … Does anyone find this photo offensive? Apparently Foxboro [sic] High School finds it offensive. They won’t allow the picture in the yearbook because it’s the American flag. We are American! We live in America! OMG what is this country coming to?”
Lisa’s Facebook post has been shared more than 12,000 times.
Despite their disagreement with the school’s decision, Morgan and her mother offered to crop the girl’s feet out of the photo so it didn’t appear that she was standing on the flag. But after consulting a local veterans agency, the school still rejected the photo, saying that even with the alteration, it would be an inappropriate display. “We take respect for the United States flag very seriously, as it is the most important symbolic representation of our national pride,” Myers-Pachla told WTAE.
In an update on her Facebook page, Lisa wrote that “all parties involved are working with a different photographer to come up with a mutually acceptable patriotic photograph.”
Photo at top: Facebook/Lisa Truax