Sunday, January 25, 2009

Revised Evil

In the previous post, I recounted some of my adventures in Indianapolis this week, including a trip to a school. I included a picture of myself with the kids and claimed that nobody noticed I was "roaring drunk." This earned me a trip to the principal's office.

Yesterday I received an email from a school official thanking me politely for coming to the school and telling me everyone enjoyed it, but asking if I would take the picture off the blog. Apparently, school officials and parents could come down hard on the school for allowing their kid's pics on the web, especially in association with a reference to drinking. Here is the revised photo, with the student's faces blurred like criminals, which I supplanted the old one with in the post below, along with a humorous legal disclaimer (in red).Perhaps there are good reasons to be worried about a thing like this, but for the life of me I can't think what they would be. I know pedophiles have met kids online, but that doesn't pertain to this. I know celebs protect the images of their children to make it more difficult for would-be kidnappers, but that's certainly not an issue here. People in witness protection don't want pics on the web identifying their location, I suppose one or more of these kids could be from a family like that.

Mostly, I think it's just goofy paranoia. Fear of the unknown. I've met people before who don't want a photo of them with me to appear on my blog and it always reminds me a bit of primitives being afraid to have their picture taken for fear they will lose their soul.

I do want to emphasize that the faculty at the school was great, very appreciative and cool, and that the person who wrote to me was not being unreasonable. That person is only trying to protect his/her school from a doody storm from less reasonable factions.

And now my own disclaimer: Maybe there is some perfectly logical, obvious reason for objecting to a picture like this on my blog and I'm just not seeing it. If so, I apologize for the sarcasm.

21 comments:

GuateVegan said...

That, was hilarious. I have just gotten over a long period of PMS and this was just like the cherry to put on top of my new three week happiness LOL.

People are crazy!

Anonymous said...

perhaps disgruntled, non-custodial parents? Perhaps that none of the parents had signed a release? Perhaps someone is stalking a parent and recognizes the kid? Its not only celebrities that have to worry about kidnapping, and its not just about pedophiles. The school really really doesn't want to be sued, and they easily could be if you post pictures of children without a signed release.

julianmaestas said...

people are just too damn paranoid these days. take a chill pill!

Adam.L said...

You missed a kid in the back behind the computer.

iamevolved said...

That kid up front with the glasses and hat is kinda cute. Kinda.

doug nicodemus said...

i think they treated you rudely...but what was the rest like..what did you do during the week...how were the panels. any interesting guests.

shipping troll said...

As a semi-professional photographer, I run into this kind of bunk on a regular basis. I feel for ya Dan. Many people are weird about getting photographed, but usually it is more about vanity than about privacy. It is actually a rare thing that a school wouldn't want proof that their students were actually in class on a given day, so I have to wonder about the mindset behind the request, especially since there are no commercial ads on you blog. Maybe you did have a protected witness in the room!

PIRARO said...

Adam L.-
You're right, I missed a face, but it's a teacher's and she didn't ask me to blur her so I didn't.

Cellar Door said...

I'm a substitute teacher, and I don't understand it, either! Lame. But I've had similar issues. I occasionally take a picture of a sign or telephone at work, and then crop out a student's arm for fear of- I don't know- some pain in the ass. It's so paranoid! But I have been called on it, too. :(

julie said...

Eh, this stupid crap happens all the time. Comes down to legal bunk. Kids can't give permission to be photographed themselves because they are not the age of majority - they can't legally sign any contract, like to purchase a car, so they can't sign a photo release, either. So that means if one parent throws a snit-fit or just decides to get back at that reckless cartoonist who supports Obama and claims to be drunk, then the school can have a lawsuit on their hands. It's just dumb all the way around. First, kill all the lawyers...

isee3dtoo said...

I think it would have been so much better if you would have, instead of blurring, pasted your face or a version of your face on everyone.

You could have then been their leader.

Anonymous said...

yeah, I agree with anonymous. It's not FBI witness protection, but it is single moms who ran away from abusive husbands (or vice versa) or who otherwise are trying to keep their kid safe from some nasty family or ex-family member.

Anonymous said...

This crap is a result of liberal views on individual rights like YOURS Piraro. Stop the whining.

Julie said...

It brings me such happiness to see my troll posting on this blog again.

Anonymous said...

im the kid with the janis joplin shirt
can you un-blur my picture?

Jeremy said...

I thought the name of the school was New Tech? As in technology? As in, they should be learning about the internet and how it works and maybe even have their own blog/profile web pages? Am I off here?

I have been online since I was 13 making my own web pages and stuff, putting my picture on the web (Trying to attract mates). I got people who wondered if that was safe. I am with Dan, I don't see how it could be unsafe. Especially on something specific like this blog. Sure, the URL is in all of Dan's cartoons for the past few years, but its not like its on the front page of a newspaper or major website (like apple.com).

An ex-girlfriend got mad at me for posting a picture of her on my webpage once. She didn't know why, just wanted it taken down.

@Anonymous - I fail to see how that is a liberal view, seems pretty conservative to me. Liberals permit things, conservatives deny them.

Artillery MKV said...

If you freely gave your original image to the students as a memento I bet it'd be all over Facebook, etc. in about 30 seconds.

I think the school would have been better off pretending they didn't know your website existed.

SAYOTTE316 said...

jeremy is right on that one..

jeremy 5238453826543

anonymous 0

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point. Liberal views defend individual rights (such as those of the students) at the expense of the majority. Conservative views defend the majority at the expense of the minority more often than not.

Robert Finis said...

I teach an after school program and ran into the same problem. C'est la vie... I'd be doing that today, but snow day here in Texas.

Rosie said...

My twin sister is a 7th-grade teacher. When I went to visit her, I was told that taking any kind of photos was entirely verboten. Any photos of the children are prohibited. I have no idea why this rule is in effect. I think it has something to do with parents being the only people who have the legal authority to authorize photos of their kids. I don't think the kids can legally sign waivers, not even for photos of themselves.