District investigating after teachers criticize student's photo - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

District investigating after teachers criticize student's photo with child

(Source: Destinie Harwell) (Source: Destinie Harwell)
WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Teachers at Airport High School are currently under a Lexington School District Two investigation after some of them allegedly made remarks about a senior student's graduation photo on Facebook.

Destinie Harwell, an 18-year-old senior at the high school, took her graduation photo with her 6-month-old son, Romeo, sitting in her lap.

Harwell says her son was not originally a part of the photo, but the Lifetouch photographers kept commenting on how cute her son was and even suggested he join the photo.

Harwell took the photo because she wanted her son to look back in life and see what all she accomplished despite having a child at a young age.

"When I was taking it I was thinking, 'Well, maybe when he gets older he'll see that I worked hard to graduate while pregnant having him,'" said Harwell.

One teacher, who is unidentified, ranted about the photo on his personal Facebook account, saying he found it ridiculous that the school would allow graduating seniors to take their cap and gown photo with a child. The rant never directly mentions Harwell.

Several people positively respond to the thread, with one person saying "AMEN!!!"

Another person then says the photo will not be allowed in the yearbook. "Lifetouch allowed that, not me," said the post. "I have already called the manager."

After she took the picture, she was surprised by the feedback.

"I feel really bad because he talks about me," said Harwell. "He doesn't say me, but I'm the only person that took a picture like that."

"He's saying I'm a bad role model but what you're doing makes you a bad role model."

The published yearbook does not have any cap and gown photos. Instead, the senior pictures that were used are single shots of the students dressed in black. According to the photography company, the photos were handed over to the school, but the school made the decision not to include them.

In a statement, the district says school board policy instructs them to conduct an investigation into the matter.

"After a thorough investigation and depending upon the nature of the charges, the District will take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and if necessary, contact law enforcement officials," said the statement.

Harwell graduated in December and plans to start attending Midlands Technical College in August to major in business.

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