Fifth-grader with beard gets photo in West Richland elementary yearbook

Tri-City HeraldJune 26, 2014 

— Flipping through Tapteal Elementary School’s 2014 yearbook, you can easily scan through the hundreds of student portraits.

Many are smiling and some are wearing glasses or hair bows.

Then David Yearsley’s photo catches your eye.

He’s the 11-year-old with a beard.

OK, he’s wearing a beard. He didn’t grow it.

His mom, Sonja Yearsley, remembers David saying he wore the crocheted “beard hat” for picture day earlier in the school year.

But she forgot about it until she saw the proof at the school office and realized David went through with it.

“(The office staff) were giggling about it,” she said.

David’s photo has since gone viral, thanks to someone else in West Richland posting the yearbook picture to the online forum Reddit.

David said he isn’t surprised by all the attention and that he just wanted to have fun.

“One of my friends laughed and laughed and laughed when he saw it,” he told the Herald.

A family friend in Spokane made the hat and a second one for his older brother.

Sonja said David loves the hat and often wore it when serving as a cross guard in Tapteal’s Safety Patrol.

“He’s a creature of comfort and he likes to be warm and that includes his face,” she said.

School administrators took no issue with the comical portrait. In fact, school staff were more concerned that his mom would want a do-over.

“I told them he wasn’t allowed to retake it,” Sonja Yearsley said laughing.

She said the family has received a lot of comments from friends on Facebook and from others who’ve seen it mentioned on Good Morning America and elsewhere.

There’s still a photo in Tapteal’s yearbook with a clean-shaven David, who will attend Enterprise Middle School this fall.

The fifth-grader is sitting with his fellow crossing guards in the Safety Patrol. He said the teacher who supervises the program requested he not wear his beard hat for the shot.

“I guess he doesn’t have a sense of humor,” David joked.

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