No school pictures for families in Jacksonville's urban core

Students in many of Jacksonville’s impoverished neighborhoods are getting excluded from a school tradition – picture day.

A parent reached out to Action News Jax about the issue, and our investigation revealed 26 public schools in the Duval school district do not offer picture day for students.

Sandra Taylor’s son goes to John Love Elementary, one of the schools that doesn’t offer school pictures.

She said she is angry but more than that she's disappointed.

"These are memories that you can't get back,” said Taylor.

She said she was hurt when she got pictures of her grandson in Nassau County and found out there wouldn’t be any of her son.

Action News Jax asked the Duval County school district for a list of public schools that offer picture days.

It took 3 weeks to compile all the information. When the information was placed on a map, it showed almost all of the schools that don’t offer pictures are in Jacksonville’s urban core.

Action News Jax asked the district why students in Jacksonville's low income neighborhoods are getting excluded from picture day and was told it's not the district’s decision.

Individual photography companies decide who they serve, according to DCPS.

Officials said:

While the majority of our schools are able to secure a vendor for school picture day, several experience difficulty attracting interest from a photographer because of the size of the school and/or the low percentage of parents ordering pictures. This unfortunately has been a concern over the years for many public schools throughout the country.

The school district said if schools can’t find a vendor it encourages stakeholders in the community, such as businesses, photography clubs, parent associations and the media, to help fill the gap.

Duval County Public Schools released another statement:

We understand many parents and caregivers look forward to school picture day to capture a historical snapshot of their child. When a school principal experiences difficulty in securing a photography vendor, we certainly encourage community stakeholders to partner and collaborate with school leadership to identify vendor alternatives. Alternative sources to provide picture day services may include yearbook and newspaper sponsors/staff, community and school photography clubs, parent-teacher associations, and local media outlets offering in-kind support.

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