Sammy Nickalls
December 15, 2015 3:04 pm

Yearbooks are supposed to be a way to remember the school year and high-school moments, but over the past year, we’ve seen plenty of yearbook photos gone wrong. . .  including a teen mom’s page being deleted, a racist yearbook photo, and Photoshopped senior pictures. And now, a student’s photo isn’t even allowed in her high school yearbook. As a result, it’s dividing the residents of Foxborough, Massachusetts into two camps.

Foxborough High School senior Morgan Truax had her portrait done not only because of her senior status, but because of her work at the Red Wing Diner. “I wanted to honor Morgan in the yearbook and we took out a page to say congrats for all the hard work,” Red Wing Diner owner Liam Murphy told FOX 25 late last week.

There was just one problem. The patriotic snapshot showed Morgan standing not only in front of the American flag. . . but on the flag. “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,” the school told FOX 25. “We do not view standing on the US Flag as respectful or appropriate.”

However, Morgan’s mother, Lisa Truax, disagreed with the school’s assertion. In a Facebook post that has recently been making the Internet rounds, she posted the picture, saying: “Does anyone find this photo offensive? Apparently Foxboro 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!” Truax later clarified in an update explaining that her daughter is not actually standing on a real flag, that it is a “commercially produced photography backdrop.”

“The issue here is the explanation I received from FHS was, they will not allow this photo because they were uncomfortable with the American flag in the background,” Truax wrote in the update.

The post has since been shared almost 12,000 times, with some claiming that the school should allow the photograph on the grounds of patriotism, others saying that standing on the flag shows disrespect, and still others saying that the fact that it’s a backdrop is what’s truly important. Some seem to think the school banned the photograph because it was too patriotic, but according to high-school career specialist Ellen Pillsbury, that was not the case, and her conversation with Truax was not heated.

“I said we can’t use the one submitted because she was standing on the flag,” Pillsbury told The Sun Chronicle. “The next thing I knew it all blew up (on social media).”

Pillsbury claims that she gave her the option of cropping the photograph, a fact which Truax claims is untrue. However, while they would prefer the original version, they would agree to crop the photograph if the school accepts it. “I understand and I agreed to crop my feet out of the picture even though it’s a photo backdrop,” Morgan Truax told FOX 25.

While Lisa says they are currently “working with a different photographer to come up with a mutually acceptable patriotic photograph,” Foxborough Veterans Services Director Michael Johns told The Sun Chronicle that either way, the photograph is inappropriate.

“I don’t think the young lady had any ill intent, and fortunately the FHS yearbook advisor and principal made the hard but correct decision to not allow publication of the photograph,” Johns, who served in the Navy for 12 years, told The Sun Chronicle, saying that according to flag etiquette, the flag — backdrop or not — should not touch the ground.

Both Murphy and Truax say they “meant no disrespect” and are working together with the school. “We all feel that this is a [unfortunate] incident that got blown way out of proportion,” Murphy said.

Sadly, unfortunate incidents happen, but we’re happy that this led to an important dialogue, and that all parties are coming to a mutual agreement.

(Image via Facebook.)