Powell High School says doctor's ads are too controversial

Powell High School calls doctor's ads too controversial

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When Dr. Morris turned in the designs, he got an email back saying the Powell High School principal felt the signs were a bit controversial. When Dr. Morris turned in the designs, he got an email back saying the Powell High School principal felt the signs were a bit controversial.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

POWELL (WATE) - Powell High School is calling signs a local doctor wants to hang there controversial.

Dr. Tim Morris at Powell Pediatrics said in his 14 years practicing medicine across the street from Powell High School, he's advertised with them several times before in school programs and the yearbook. So when a parent asked if he wanted to buy a banner to hang on the fence around the sports field, he said yes, but he wanted his signs to stand out.

Dr. Morris believes breast feeding is better for babies than formula and that parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids put them at risk.

"I'm interested in strong, healthy kids and I just wanted to put a message out there to stimulate discussion," Dr. Morris said.

The slogans he chose for his signs read "Breast is Best" and "Thanks, anti-vaxxers, for bringing back measles!"

"It's just a little sarcasm to say measles was considered eliminated from the U.S. in the year 2000, but now it's back among people who don't get their vaccines," Dr. Morris said.

When he turned in the designs, he got an email back saying the Powell High School principal felt the signs were a bit controversial.

"I hoped it would be, sure. Why make an ad if it wasn't going to be?" said Dr. Morris.

But Dr. Morris doesn't think he crossed the line.

"Just saying something in a way that would make people turn and talk about it to their friends or family sitting in the stands with them," said Dr. Morris.

We asked a couple of Powell residents if they think the advertisements go to far. 

"I think the signs are great. A little humor goes a long way," said Cameron Talmage.

But Tifni Trammell sees it as a slippery slope.

"If they allow that they'll have to allow a lot of different banners," said Tifni Trammell.

When asked for a comment on this story, Knox County Schools pointed us to their advertising policy, which basically says an ad can be rejected for many reasons, including that it might be considered disruptive.

A spokesperson for the district said Dr. Morris has simply been asked to reconsider his message. Dr. Morris tells us he would like to discuss that with the principal, but his repeated calls have not been returned.

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