Parents, Facebook outraged after Mass. teen’s photo with American flag denied by high school yearbook

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The parent of a Foxboro High School student has complained after the school rejected her photo for inclusion in the yearbook.

The photo Lisa Truax posted to Facebook in anger Thursday morning showed her daughter Morgan standing in front of an American flag. The Red Wing Diner, where Morgan works part-time, bought a page in the yearbook using the photo to congratulate her on her hard work, and “Apparently Foxboro High School find [sic] 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 Truax’s posting read.

At least 6,800 people have shared the photo as of 3:00 p.m. Dec. 11.

However, the photo is cropped at Morgan’s ankles. The photo that was originally submitted, says the high school’s principal, Diana Myers-Pachla, showed Morgan standing on the flag while it was lying on the floor.

(Photo provided by Lisa Truax)
(Photo provided by Lisa Truax)

“They told me that the photo could not go into the yearbook at all because the American flag was in the photo, end of story,” Morgan told Eyewitness News.

“We do not view standing on the U.S. flag as respectful or appropriate,” said Myers-Pachla in a statement Friday. She also said a local veterans’ group representative expressed the feeling that the photo’s use of the flag, in general, was inappropriate, even cropped.

“We take respect for the United States flag very seriously as it is the most important symbolic representation of our national pride,” Myers-Pachla’s statement continued.

“In no way shape or form did she or myself or anyone involved mean to insult veterans (or) the flag,” said Liam Murphy, owner of Red Wing Diner.

Multiple sources, from the Boy Scouts of America to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, dictate that the flag should not touch the ground. Lisa Truax maintains that the photo was professionally taken, including the flag backdrop that draped onto the ground underneath her daughter’s feet — and Morgan wanted to show her patriotism.

“I didn’t mean any kind of disrespect to anyone, I just thought it was a nice photo and showed patriotism,” Morgan added.

Morgan told Eyewitness News she plans to take another photo with the flag and try to submit that to the yearbook instead.

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