Parents upset after elementary school tries to ban acronyms in yearbooks

MILTON, Ga. — LOL is a common acronym for "laugh out loud," but some Milton parents aren't laughing about an elementary school's attempt to ban the phrase and other slang from making it into student yearbooks.

Now, school officials said it was all a big misunderstanding.

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik learned about the story after a Facebook friend posted something on her page about a pledge her daughter had to sign at school Friday before she could get a copy of her yearbook.

Within minutes, that Facebook post had dozens of angry responses from parents.

"LOL's not offensive. It means laugh out loud. What else would it mean?" said student Alyssa Marchelletta, 11.

Marchelletta's teachers at Birmingham Falls Elementary School made her sign a pledge not to use that phrase or any other acronym on the pages of her friends' yearbooks.

She thought TSNF (That's so not fair).

"Freedom of speech -- that's one of our amendments, people," friend and fellow student Roxy Silva agreed. "No one really liked it. I thought it was kind of stupid."

Both girls told Petchenik teachers warned if someone caught them using the common texting phrases they'd be in trouble.

"They will take you to the principal's office, talk to your parents and take your yearbook away," Silva said.

"I was pretty shocked," parent Patti Silva, Roxy's mother, said.

She was so upset she posted something on her Facebook page, which brought heated responses from parents who knew nothing about the pledge.

"I thought 'Really, you're kidding me? Why we didn't hear about it. Why can't we draw a smiley face?' That's what we thought," said Patti Silva.

"It's bullying and it's wrong because these kids trust these teachers," parent Sandy Marchalletta said.

Sandy Marchelletta and her husband told Petchenik when they learned of the pledge, they told their daughter to respectfully ignore it.

"It was wrong. It wasn't proper for them to do this with the children," Patti Silva said.