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April 07, 2004


It appears that some enterprising Americans have found new ways to shock and disgust. In a tale of obscenity and censorship, a highschool faces the outrage of the finger. OK three fingers.

In May of 2000, it was reported in the local paper that thirty-four students who had attended Hanover High School in Pennsylvania had had their pictures taken for the school yearbook giving an obscene gesture. The principal, John P. Cokefair, had sent a letter to the thirty-four students' parents explaining that because of the preponderance of this gesture in the photos, the offending photos would be re-taken, without the gesturing students, and these students would bear the cost of the re-shoot.

Here is more evidence that I am becoming a cranky old fud. Kids today!

Posted by mbowen at April 7, 2004 11:02 AM

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Tracked on March 23, 2005 02:45 PM


Clearly the school has all the right in the world to do what it did. on the other hand, how many kids actually knew what that meant? I sure as hell didn't. The school; has just insured that more kids will be doing that sign in the halls now. Stupid. Like how the ADL decided to decry the Gibson movie, only to net Gibsy more money because they complained so loud. Sometimes it's best just to let yr enemies die rather then parade their heads around on a stick.

Posted by: TLL at April 7, 2004 12:20 PM

On the other hand I agree with the sentiment that you can't just erase history. My take would have been to leave one picture and have the rest dumped.

Posted by: Cobb at April 7, 2004 12:25 PM

A few years ago I ran across Classmates.com, and that took me back to the high school yearbook.

I'm not sure if there was anything back then worth remembering, but I sure would have preferred to have a document which looked at how we really were, rather than some glossy attempt to cast us in the same smiling light that every other stupid yearbook has.

My partner recently asked her dad if he had any pictures of when she had braces on her legs. He said "I don't think we wanted to remember those times". We recently went through hundreds of slides, and found a lot of memories, but because of that subconscious editing, a lot of the memories she was looking to explore weren't there.

Make the yearbook a record of what was, not an attempt to stuff faces into a generic layout that will have no meaning in two decades. Give those four years some value, otherwise we may as well just publish a single yearbook for everybody that we can sell in Wal*Mart whenever people get to feeling nostalgic.

Posted by: Dan Lyke at April 8, 2004 08:52 AM