Earlier today, I came across an appalling photo on my Facebook Feed. Anne Gemmell, the Political Director for Fight to Philly, posted a controversial photo of her daughter’s SEPTA student transpass. The transpass in question, which can be seen below, is that of Pennsylvania National Guard member and according to Anne and Helen Gym – a notable Philadelphia Public School Parent and Activist – this photo can be an advertising ploy targeted at public school children as young as 10.
When I reached out to Anne Gemmell, she told me that her daughter has received this pass 2 weeks in a row. Mrs. Gemmell informed me that this transpass is offensive to some parents and those of the Quaker community. When I was talking to Helen Gym, she reiterated the same points. Mrs. Gym wants to know if SEPTA is allowing advertising on their weekly student passes, and she raises the issue asking if the Pennsylvania National Guard using this photo as a recruiting tool to school children as young as 10 years old. Mrs. Gym noted that her daughter – who is in a Philadelphia public high school – isn’t eligible to receive the weekly pass, but her daughter’s friends have been talking about this issue in her school.
After I saw this photo, I contacted the SEPTA public relations office, and I will update this story as I receive more information.