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Friends Photogate: Picture Day, Take Two.

Editors Note: The cover image used for this post is not of one of the photographers who photographed our school. It was taken by flickr user ginnerobot and is being used under the creative commons license.

Chin up, hand on your hip, fix your jacket and/or hair…1, 2, 3, snap! On September 24, the upper school students and faculty experienced déjà vu; picture day, round two. While rumors began circulating around the Friends Academy community pertaining as to why student photos had to be retaken, the full story has officially been confirmed. After careful consideration by Mr. Morris and Andrea Miller, the administration decided to discontinue business with the original photography company.

The original photographers made inappropriate and racial comments that made both students and staff uncomfortable. In an e-mail to parents of the student body, Mr. Morris commented, “I will not compromise our community standards and expectations at any time.” Students that felt uncomfortable spoke up and informed the office of the remarks that had been made by the photographers.  Sophomore, Javana Clark, shared that the photographer had called out, “Black girl, move over there.” This racial commentary, in addition to other student and staff complaints, resulted in the administration’s decision to part ways with the company in question.

The photography company that captured the Lower School was brought in to redo picture day in the Middle and Upper divisions. Upper School principal, Ms. Schoman, is very pleased with the new company, remarking that they, “appreciate and are true to the mission of FA, recognizing kindness and respect at all times.”

Check out how beautiful all your fellow classmates are as they said “cheese” for the excellent photographers.


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