The Crystal Middle School’s choir and arts students presented “We Haz Jazz” on Jan. 30 and the next day your paper presented a story about the young peoples’ production along with a photo of some of the students on stage.
The caption below the photo highlights my son’s name and states that he “gets excited before speaking his lines.” My son was a major participant in the production, having had the most lines to memorize and a solo to sing. With support from their music and art teachers all of the students had taken steps toward unfolding their potentials for theatrics and performance. A Daily Republic photographer was on site at the stage taking a multitude of pictures throughout the show.
I am writing as one who believes in community and support of young people by helping them to capture a vision that holds them to their highest goals. I do understand that media can undoubtedly influence perception. Knowing that the layouts of articles are strategically decided as to its content and available space, I feel it was in poor taste that a decision was made to place a photo capturing my son making an awkward face central to photos of a pedophile, a convicted murderer, and news about alcohol being sold to minors.
The surrounding images and headlines are a disservice to him holding a higher and positive feel of himself appearing in the paper. As parents set goals for their children, there are negative forces to reckon with. Some are bold and some are subtle, nevertheless they are there. In hopes to bring further consciousness, I had to write this letter and ask that it be published.