Monday, July 17, 2006


The year after I graduated from high school, our principal made the news for confiscating students' yearbooks to tear out a picture a student had drawn of her that she considered unflattering. This act of cutting (vice tearing as I said above) damaged the binding and resulted in the yearbooks falling apart. The student said that the picture was placed in the yearbook to honor the teacher, and that it was a heartfelt picture. Now I saw the picture, and it was (in my opinion) rather unflattering, and given that the principal was somewhat unpopular with a good portion of the student body, I would not be surprised if the picture was placed in there as a backhanded compliment, if you will. I think the kids got caught doing exactly what the principal thought they were doing, and they just happened to have a convenient excuse to defend themselves.

Now, what happens, however, if there is a picture in a yearbook that is inadvertently placed? Let's say your picture is taken during a basketball game, and your genitalia is clearly shown from the angle of the picture? If you're a minor, and this picture of your genitals is published, do the publishers and distributors of the picture face child pornography charges? What about the school? What about the students on the yearbook staff? What if they delay in suppressing the yearbook? Does that change your answer? Who is responsible for paying for the therapy for the mental anguish you (probably) suffer from having your genitals exposed to the entire school?

The trial undoubtedly will end up in most tort texts after it winds up. I'm interested in finding out the outcome.

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