Friday, May 02, 2008

Because I Need the Internets Help

A couple of weeks ago, Griffin had his class picture taken.

Yesterday, while looking through the information on Griffin's school carnival (tonight, starting in about four hours), I noticed that his class picture is being auctioned to the highest bidder. This information sheet was sent home yesterday.

I asked the other mothers of his class if other pictures were going to be on sale. No one knew, but everyone wanted one.

I went into the school and asked the secretary. She said "no" that no other pictures will be made for purchase.

This is done through the PTA.

The PTA "is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization" and NOT ran through the school district.

At the beginning of the school year, I signed a waiver stating that it was okay for the school district to use Griffin's picture. The waiver does not mention PTA.

I have called the PTA President. And left a message.

I have called the school and talked to the secretary (who tried to convince me the PTA is a part of the school district -- I looked PTA up, it is not).

I left a voice mail for the principal.

All I'm asking is that pictures be available to purchase sometime before the end of the school year. They can continue with their auction (of a framed picture - size is not stated but I assume it's an 8x10) and sell smaller sized prints to everyone.

By selling prints, they can use it as another fundraiser for the PTA.

Am I being unreasonable?

And, I've got my panties in a bunch over this. I'm on the verge of using the fact they do not have a signed waiver from me and using that as leverage.

I do not think it's appropriate where one family (or anyone for that matter) is able to purchase the only available class picture and all the other families do not even have an opportunity to purchase a picture.

What do you think?

Update #1 - I called the school headquarters and got confirmation that the PTA is NOT ran through the district. She referred me to the Area Council PTA person.

#2 - The Area Council PTA person did not answer her phone and had a full voice mailbox. So I was unable to leave a message.

#3 - I've talked this over with more people and everyone seems to agree with me. So I called the school and was told that the principal has listened to my voicemail but is "busy." So now I'm calling higher-ups because this is ridiculous.

#4 - Left message with Superintendent; supposedly suppose to get a call back.

#5 - Received call from the school secretary. "Good news! Pictures will be sold next week but it's a secret." "Uh, that's nice. How are they gonna prevent a PEDAFILE FROM 'WINNING' IT AT THE AUCTION?" "Oh, anyone who attends can win it."

Welcome to my personal hell, internet: I'm trying to prevent my son's school from selling his picture to any random person.

#6 - Okay! Last update!

No one knows they are selling the pictures next week. That's not going to be announced until next week that they will sell the pictures.

The principal finally called me back. When I asked him what safety precautions were in place to insure a random person wouldn't buy the pictures he said, "Uhhhhh...." So we had a nice chat about safety and thinking about everything ("This carnival was put together really haphazardly" he said) and he said that they would definitely check who is purchasing the picture and making sure it doesn't go to some random stranger.

You know, not to sound crazy or anything but DAMN. Do these people not think things through? I totally understand why they thought was a good idea but does no one remotely consider all the details of such endeavors?

The principal tried to point out to me that since I signed the photo release I shouldn't be complaining.

My reply?

"I never considered the school would take my son's picture and sell it to the highest bidder, regardless of who it is."



Anonymous said...

Our school did away with class pictures also. I think what your school is doing is crazy! Our school wants to sell "yearbooks" to elementary kids, that is the only place to see the class picture. If I were you, I would continue to have your panties in a bunch!

montague said...

for real??? you can't buy your own son's school picture? do these people think that reason is optional?

Unknown said...

I long ago stopped signing that it was okay to use my daughter's picture in ANYTHING. While I like my daughter's school, I don't trust people at all!

Put a call into the school district office (that's where the superintendent lives.) Also, contact you school board president.

That is not allowable; unless they are going to dived the proceeds among all the parents of the children. How dare they make profit off your child without your permission!

Anonymous said...

That's bizarre. Our school takes class pictures, and anyone can order one. It seems strange that they're not at least being consistent throughout the school district. Have they given you any reason for this policy?

Kim -today's creative blog said...

class picture, as in a group photo of the children in his class? Or the whole class of 1st graders? They are auctioning that off? People want one? Interesting. I must be missing something.

And yes the PTA should have permission.....the PTA is NOT a part of the school district. I'm sure the PTA is just trying to raise funds for programming, but they probably haven't thought that this would offend anyone.

Unknown said...

That is the strangest thing I've ever heard. First of all, I find it incredibly sad that your PTA is so desperate for things to auction that they have to auction a class picture. They don't have anyone on the PTA that can offer anything better? That's not to say your child, or anyone else's isn't absolutely worth every penny... but it's just weird. I don't blame you at all for having your panties in a bunch. It sounds to me like they need some more creative people in their association. :-/

Anonymous said...


I think she means the shot of all the children in the class, lined up with their little cheesy smiles.

A class shot of the entire class.

And my 2 cents, the whole thing is silly. Why create an auction if you can simply buy one next week??

Rebecca F.

Good Girls Studio said...

That is the most freak'n ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life! I would get someone's butt over this BS! so's a secret the pictures will go on sale so that parents will be fighting (err bidding) over the only ONE! BS! I can't wait for an update over the throw down that ensues!

The Nice Lady said...

I am totally with you and your wadded up panties. They ought to be able to come up with something better to auction off.

Oh... and if they don't back off with the auction I'd be sure to let all the other parents know that you're just waiting to buy the picture the following week.


Carla said...

Good grief cous...that is total madness!!! Another reason why I am waiting to have children and may just homeschool when the day arrives.

Anonymous said...

Didn't DeCloud take class pictures? You'll get one of those. Or you can order one.

And for the record I've been involved with our auction items (different school, same district) the last two years and parents of kids in the class buy all the items. I bet someone you know will snatch it up.

But good luck with your fight!

Xan said...

I think you're being perfectly reasonable, and I'd probably react the same way. That's just strange.

Anonymous said...

Are you in SMSD? How is it that other parents don't have their skivvies in a bunch? Apart from the pedophile concern, it just seems manipulative and...mean.

Anonymous said...

whoa. okay, i've not read all the other comments (lazy), but that is SO lame, for many reasons. 1 - you should be able to buy a class photo, period. 2 - auctioning off a class photo is the stupidest thing i've heard of for a fundraiser. 3 - not telling people that they're available to buy until after the fundraiser is extremely lame - the poor high-bidder is going to feel really dumb next week.
oh, and i loved your last 'highest bidder' line.

we had major class photo issues as well - but they included my son's photo not being included in the group shot. not even in the supposed 'correction pages' - they ran at least 2 or 3 reprints before they got it right.

Anonymous said...

Schools hate bad press--call a local reporter. I work for a school district and I have never heard of anything this selfish. In addition to speaking to the District Superintendent, call the School Board members.

Anonymous said...

That's whacked. Couldn't they auction off some nice handmade good or new item donated from parents or a PTA member? At least it sounds like you're making all efforts to point out what a dumb idea this is.

Chickenbells said...

Ok...this whole thing sounds nuts to me. And what part of selling pictures of people's children seems rational or normal during this day and age? I don't care what they're trying to raise $$ for...this is VERY creepy.

Heidijayhawk said...

man school doesn't get any easier. one thing after another. maybe we should just homeschool. wait, i would kill my kids. not good.

Anonymous said...

This makes me mad. Good for you for standing up.

Now, there are a couple of bloggers I know who keep posting nudie photos of their kids on their blogs. Um... am I nuts to be worried about that?

Want to take them on next??

On a completely different note: my kid used to be in a very swanky public school. I kid you not: they had professional photographers do the "photo shoot" and the kids were encouraged to bring "a change of wardrobe." My six year old's picture was lovely, but he looked like a model. OY.

I was so embarrassed by those photos--because, he's six. And I felt like I was handing out my kid's headshots to the relatives---who, needless to say, were expecting "cheese."

Unknown said...

Damn ... and yes true. PTA isn't negligible w/the school. You've make numerous great points. I don't know where to start, so let's just go with I'm with you. Which is why I've joined that group this year ... my "season" starts with 2008 and ends in 2010. I hate it but I WILL do it to be sure what I'm getting into.

Rachel said...

This is just weird. I mean, obviously they will have to sell photos since the picture actually belongs to the photographer. Mainly this just sounds like a lame idea for a fund raiser. Can't someone cook a pie or something?

Anonymous said...

Last year at my kid's school they ahd a photographer in who took the kids pictures, and then printed all the pictures BEFORE orders for said pictures were taken. The idea was that the kids would bring the pics home and if you wanted them you sent back a cheque. If not, you sent back the pics. A lot of parents got peeved that it seemed like they were assuming we would fork over the cash, and sent the pics back. We were assured that they would be shredded. Until someone found the custodian taking out boxes of unshredded pictures to the recycler for ANYONE to just pick up off the street. (Not the custodians fault, he didn't know bout he shredding.) Nice eh?

Anonymous said...

not very smart on part of PTA. Our PTA has to get signed release separate from school release. I agree with another reader.... I stopped long ago giving permission for picture release. I am cheering for you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Your reply equals pure GOLD.

And you are right. This is wrong on so many levels. Equity issues, child safety, and it's just plain tacky.

You are fighting the good fight. I wish you were a parent at my kid's school! We would be friends.