A school district in Michigan has banned two pregnant teen girls from showing their bellies in the high school yearbook, claiming it goes against the school district’s abstinence-only sex ed policy. “It’s our feeling … that (the photos) could very well be a contrary message to (the state policy),” White Could Public Schools Superintendent Barry Seabrook said. “We’re not saying they can’t have their photos in the yearbook.” But they do have to reshoot waist-up photos in the yearbook if they want to be included.
This isn’t the first time that schools have tried to sanitize their yearbooks from undesirables. Whether it’s Sydney Spies, who submitted a sexy yearbook photo, or trans and gay students who dress in ways the school deems inappropriate, some schools try to present an modified portrait of reality. (Superintendent Seabook also noted photos of teen pregnancy might upset the community, whatever that means.)
To their credit, both girls, Kimberly Haney and Deonna Harris, refused to reshoot their pics waist-up. Haney made a good point about the futility of such a move: “What’s the difference of letting me walk for graduation, letting me walk around the school? It’s the same thing.” Totally true — and it makes me grateful that it’s 2013 and it’s acceptable for pregnant teens to continue their education in high school, instead of being “sent away” to hide throughout their pregnancies, like our mothers and grandmothers would have likely been forced to do.
Still, asking the teens to reshoot pics is creating stigmatization by treating the pregnant belly as if it’s a thing that should be shamefully hidden. If this was really about the school wanting to portray itself as following a strict abstinence-only policy, shouldn’t every kid that had ever had sex not be allowed in the yearbook? Boys and girls? Notice, the boys who knocked up these girls weren’t banned from photos. If these young ladies sue the school district and the principal for pregnancy discrimination, I’d be all for it.
Looks to me like the school is embarrassed anyone with two eyes (but not a yearbook!) can plainly see their abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t effing work.
[Photo via Raw Story]
Follow me on Twitter. Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com.