This is a story about a young man and his love for his cat. Fox Carolina News reported the story September 12, and I thought it a good discussion piece.
Draven Rodriguez is a senior at Schenectady High School in New York. Draven smuggled his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, into his school to have his senior photo made holding the cat. Unfortunately, those in charge of the school don’t have the same high opinion of Mr. Bigglesworth as does Draven. He’s so determined to have the photo taken with a laser background (what cat doesn’t like lasers), that he’s started an online petition here just in case. Draven explains
“Hi all. This is my photo that should be going into the yearbook, but we know how finicky the school systems can be. I’m hoping that with enough signatures, my school simply can’t turn this down.To clarify, the school HAS NOT YET DECLINED this photo. This is my pre-emptive strike just in case such a thing were to happen. I wanted as many backers as possible before the deadline of September 15th. Photo creds to Vincent Giordano, who took and edited this photo.”
School district spokeswoman Karen Corona isn’t happy about Draven wanting to be remembered with his cat. I personally think we’re a bit past that now, since word has gone viral so Mr. Bigglesworth will be allowed to hold a place of honor next to his purr-son on the primary page for seniors. Karen says there are other places in the yearbook the photo could be placed, and believes uniformity should be observed in the senior portrait section.
While it may seem wrong for schools to decide on whether pets are welcome in school yearbooks, keep in mind many schools are now “doctoring” photos, especially of female students wearing provocative, low-cut blouses. It would appear efforts to express your personality and not be afraid to be seen as different does have it’s limits. So much for building confidence by standing up for what you believe in. Even in high school, there’s someone ready to tell you what you’re doing doesn’t conform to society’s standards.
The school still hasn’t made a decision on whether Mr. Bigglesworth can be seen in the senior section of the yearbook, or whether he’ll have to take a backstage seat in one of the other yearbook sections. Schenectady High says they’ll be weighing their final decision based on future consequences. I guess it would tempt other to include their cat or dog in a school photo in the future. There was a case in June 2013 when a retiring comfort dog named Prince made it into his own slot in a high school yearbook.
How do you feel about this young man and his cat? Should he be the only one holding a cat in his senior photo? Is the school going too far, or are boundaries necessary? Your comments are welcome.
Story on Fox News