FLOWER MOUND – At age 16, Anthony Mazur already has a sharp eye for good images.
“I really just like capturing the moments,” he explained.
But the sophomore said Flower Mound High School and Lewisville ISD are bullying him about it.
“It just feels like a bureaucratic nightmare and we can’t spin ourselves out of this,” said Len Mazur, Anthony’s father.
The teenager shoots sports for the yearbook staff and created a Flickr gallery to sell a few pictures to parents and athletes at $5 a shot.
But Lewisville ISD ordered him to shut down the site.
At first, administrators said he couldn’t make a profit off the pictures. Then, their argument switched to student-privacy issues, he told News 8. Now, Mazur said they told him that he’s abusing his special access to the sidelines.
“The school principals themselves are posting images of sporting events online,” the 16-yearold said. “The same ones I’m going to.”
So Anthony got his own Canon T5i and hoped to still make few bucks on the side, but the district isn’t budging.
“They’re trying to coerce me,” the sophomore explained, “[with] threats of in-school suspension. And making some weird comment about reporting me to the IRS.”
It’s not clear what district policy the sophomore is violating.
“LISD’s practice is if anyone attending a public district event takes photos using their own device from an area accessible to the public, the district would not interfere with those photos being posted to a third-party site,” said Elizabeth Haas, a spokeswoman for the school district.
Haas refused to do an interview with News 8 explaining or elaborating on the district’s policy. The superintendent never responded to an email from News 8 either, leaving the Mazur’s with little clarity on it all.
“I have a right to do this,” Anthony said. “This is my art that I own.”
The hashtag #IAmAnthony took off on Twitter. Former students and professional photographers used it to offer support from around the world to this young entrepreneur and member of the National Honor Society who is discouraged by his district from pursuing his passion.