Target: Guilderland High School Principal, Thomas Lutsic
Goal: Require stricter screenings and education after photo of killed giraffe was published in a school yearbook.
A picture of a teenage boy with a dead giraffe was posted in the Guilderland High School yearbook. The photo portrays a boy holding the dead, slumped giraffe by one of its horns while he holds a gun in his hand. The giraffe was apparently killed in a hunt as part of a trophy kill.
The photo appears as part of one of the parent pages that can be purchased in yearbooks. The pages feature pictures and quotes shared by the parents of the high school children, and all pages must be approved by the school. The photo is shown along with the quote “a hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be.”
Big game hunting has come to be a highly controversial topic, and giraffes have been a particular target. The giraffe population in Africa went from 140,000 in 1998 to 80,000 in 2012. Two giraffe sub-species are even considered endangered. The great loss of giraffe population has been due to poaching, overhunting, and habitat loss.
After the release of the yearbook, students and parents alike were outraged by the photo. The picture went viral as people took to social media calling the picture “disgusting.” In response, the New York school apologized and stated that they will be stricter on yearbook submission in the future. But Nick Shapiro, New York state director of the Humane Society, asserts that it is not enough to be more careful with yearbook submissions, but to educate the student body on wildlife conservation.
Please support this petition to encourage the school to not only recognize their mistake, but to prevent it from happening in the future and providing vital education for their students.
Dear President Lutsic,
A photo was recently printed in the Guilderland High School yearbook featuring a teenage boy holding a slain giraffe by its horn in one hand and a gun in the other. The photo was disturbing and appalling to students and the public.
The giraffe population in Africa is drastically declining, in part due to poaching. This is not a matter to be taken lightly. In response to this situation, the school should not only be more careful when reviewing yearbook submissions, but also use this as an opportunity to educate the students on the importance of wildlife conservation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett