web page consultants:
|11-19-02: Parkway school yearbook
|By TIMOTHY COX
The Daily Standard
ROCKFORD - The 2001-2002 Parkway Local Schools yearbook is a bit too
racy for some people.
District resident Mitch Flaugher complained to board members at their
Monday meeting that the book contains a number of sexually suggestive and inappropriate
words and pictures. The book is especially objectionable, Flaugher said, because it is
intended for all students, preschoolers through high school seniors. Flaugher said he
would not allow his own children, ages 4 and 9, to look at the book.
"Upon my review, I was shocked to find that this yearbook
contained a strong, undeniable sexual theme as well as several inappropriate photographs
and writings," Flaugher said in a written statement he read to the board.
Flaugher was backed by more than a dozen other residents, although he
was the only to address the board.
Flaugher documented 10 instances in the book, called "Almega Teen
Magazine," that he said prove his contention. He called on school officials to offer
refunds to anyone who wants their money back and for an admission of "assumed
responsibility" by the board. Flaugher also said he wants a "clean"
yearbook published and an investigation launched to develop long-term plans for reviewing
Board members instead told Flaugher to set up a meeting with yearbook
adviser Ed Kuhn and Principal Bill Steinbrunner. If Flaugher still is not satisfied after
that meeting, he could submit a written complaint to the board and an independent
committee would be set up to investigate the claims.
Superintendent Doug Karst said that process follows the terms of an
agreement with the teachers union.
"It's a complaint against a faculty member," Karst said.
"I think this is the best process we have in place."
Flaugher complained that Monday was the first he had heard of the
complaint process, even though he first contacted school officials with his concerns about
three weeks ago.
Among the items picked out by Flaugher as inappropriate for the
yearbook are a picture of a boy wearing no shirt and a bra. Another photo shows three boys
wearing jock straps outside their pants. Another close-up photo shows a boy wearing either
underwear or a jock strap with a portion of his buttocks visible.
A caption under a picture of girls mugging for the camera, says that
the girls are "taking time out of their pants-dropping schedule." A picture
showing only a girl's bare legs says underneath, "One time I did the announcements
without pants on!" On the same page, a similar picture showing only a girl's hand on
a boy's leg says underneath, "I loved when (name) rubbed my leg during
The headings to sections for different sports also were singled out by
Flaugher as sexually suggestive. The titles include "Leather and Laces"
(football), "Flashem'" (football cheerleading), "Shake those Pom-Poms"
(basketball cheerleading), "Get to Third Base" (baseball), "Excessive
Panting?" (track), and "Down and Dirty" (powder puff football.)
A collage of pep band photos included a number of captions Flaugher
found objectionable. Among them were "He'll toot your horn," "The loudest
threesome," "Our bones are bigger than your bones," "Get down and lick
it," "Stay off your back" and "Show some skin."
Flaugher also took issue with use of the words "skank" and
A more thorough read of the yearbook turned up some instances not
included in Flaugher's letter.
For example, a piece on embarrassing moments includes a girl's
firsthand account of trouble with her bikini during a summer swimming trip. After jumping
off a diving board, the girl described her situation as having "one of the twins
hanging out." Another girl recounts an embarrassing moment that involved "a huge
Board members only briefly discussed Flaugher's concerns. Board member
Betty DuBry questioned how much it would cost to reproduce a new yearbook and whether
doing so would even be feasible. Board member Jeff Long seemed willing to discuss a
process to review and control yearbook content in the future.
In other business Monday, board members:
Passed a resolution commending the efforts of the United for
Parkway's Kids committee that worked toward passage of a school levy.
Granted a leave of absence to teacher Tara Jones for the
remainder of the first semester and hired long-term substitute Robert Ransbottom to
Increased the pay rate for a shuttle bus route that goes to St.
Henry to $28 daily.
Agreed to contract with the Mercer County Health Department for
$1,809 for screening services.
Renewed the district's property insurance with Indian Insurance
through Bruns, Gant & Toms Inc., Celina, for $23,465.
Accepted a $5,000 donation from the Eva Austin Trust and set up
the Eva Austin Scholarship Fund. Terms for scholarship awards are yet to be decided.
Hired Michael Schumm as high school girls basketball varsity
Accepted Steve Snyder as a volunteer assistant coach for the
high school girls basketball program.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY STANDARD
(419)586-2371, Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2002
The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH