When Charles Fowler, a high school assistant principal, saw an overweight young girl at Walmart in Seneca, S.C., he took a picture of her and posted it to a social media account with the caption, “Honey Boo-Boo at Walmart.”
The picture, which he posted as a joke, was unedited: the girl’s face was clearly visible.
The image circulated throughout the community. Briana Smith, a family member of the photographed kindergartner, said that she was “very shocked” to suddenly find the picture of her cousin on the Internet.
“He wants to put a kid that’s six years old with health problems out there about her weight and make fun of her? And that’s not right,” Smith said.
The picture has received “likes” as well as multiple comments. Although some of the commentators found the image funny, the family is not amused; the young girl is coping with health issues related to her weight, and already feels uncomfortable as is.
“Before she goes out in public, she tries on different outfits because she feels like she’s too big,” Smith said.
The girl’s great-grandmother said that the 6-year-old girl was so embarrassed that she stayed home from school on Monday.
“She said, ‘Nanny, I’ve got to lose some weight,’ and she said, ‘I don’t want people to see me like this,’” the great-grandmother stated.
Fowler has been suspended from his position at Walhalla High School; he is currently on administrative leave. An online petition, which has already gotten hundreds of signatures, is asking that the school fire Fowler. As FOX Carolina reports, Fowler’s own son signed the petition.
The original post has since been removed from Fowler’s Facebook page.
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