Photo With Newborn Banned From Yearbook

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Registered: 07-05-2005
Photo With Newborn Banned From Yearbook
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Mon, 05-06-2013 - 7:40am

Officials at a North Carolina high school have removed from the yearbook a graduating student's senior portrait because the photo shows her posing with her newborn baby.

Caitlin Tiller is a 17-year-old student of Randolph County's Wheatmore High School in Trinity, N.C. In April 2012 she gave birth to a baby boy. That summer, senior portraits were taken, according to Fox North Carolina's WGHP. Students were invited to pose with props that represented them or their achievements. Tiller decided to pose with her baby

“He helped me get to where I am today,” she told WGHP, adding that after giving birth she worked harder in school, graduated early, began college classes in January and got a part-time job working 30 hours a week. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.”

Last month, just two days before the yearbook was set to be printed, Tiller was told her photo would not appear. School officials allegedly told the teen mom she had been banned from the yearbook because her photo might "promote teen pregnancy," according to WGHP.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/03/teen-mom-banned-yearbook-caitlin-tiller_n_3208016.html 

What do you think of the decision made by the school?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 10:24am

Prehaps the school made the mistake by allowing props in the first place. My kids' year book had an optional section that contained small essays from those seniors who wished to write something, along side their pictures, a sort of  "look at me" or "thanks for the memories" section. That would be the place she could write about how having her son made her growup and take responsibility and to thank her parents for the support they have given her and her son. There was also a section with just head shots of the seniors (although that too was optional).

I am of two minds here. I am glad that this young woman is trying to make something of herself but it is too bad that it took a pregnacy and birth of her son for her change in attitude.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 9:49am

beeblebrx wrote:
And people wonder why the abortion rate in the US so high. I find it ironic that this school decision is likely to be applauded by those same people who oppose abortion on moral grounds. And no, teen pregnancy is not a disease you can catch. Thanks to our judgmental and hypocritical society it remains deeply shameful for a teen girl to face pregnancy. just a random thought: how would perceptions be different if it was the teenage father of the child posing with his son instead of the mother?

I'd personally feel the same if the teen dad wanted to pose with the baby.  And I doubt you're correct that there's any shame among teens who got pregnant in this day and age.  Finally, many teen parents become impoverished.  So they should thank your "judgmental and hypocritical" society for the taxes they pay so teens can collect Section 8 assistance, WIC benefits, etc.  I've never heard of a teen mom or dad who thanked the taxpayers. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 9:38am

ashmama wrote:
<p>I think this was a foolish decision on the part of the school. They missed a golden opportunity to educate their community about the unintended consequences of teen sex. No, a baby is not a prop, but he certainly can be a valuable lesson, one this girl has apparently learned.</p><p>Far from promoting teen pregnancy, printing the picture would probably help discourage it. What girl in her right mind envisions her senior picture with a baby in it, and probably with a load of excess pregnancy fat around her middle?  Years ago, my high school yearbook had an entire page devoted to a teen mothers' program and their photo had not only the girls, but their babies and the occasional father. Every year, when the yearbook would come out, I would think, "Thank God that's not me." I imagine this is a far more common reaction than, "Oh, hey, maybe I should get pregnant so I can be in the club."</p>

Actually, the teen mom has gone on to advance in school and claims but for this baby, she would not have done so well grade-wise.  She's working 30 hours a week.  It's the best thing that happened to her, she claims.  Better would have been a photo of the parents of the teen mom or the other adults who undoubtedly are keeping teen mom from living in the street.  A scan of their bank account statement as they approach retirement.  A picture of smiling teen mom and baby only tells half the story.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 8:22am

I think this was a foolish decision on the part of the school. They missed a golden opportunity to educate their community about the unintended consequences of teen sex. No, a baby is not a prop, but he certainly can be a valuable lesson, one this girl has apparently learned.

Far from promoting teen pregnancy, printing the picture would probably help discourage it. What girl in her right mind envisions her senior picture with a baby in it, and probably with a load of excess pregnancy fat around her middle?  Years ago, my high school yearbook had an entire page devoted to a teen mothers' program and their photo had not only the girls, but their babies and the occasional father. Every year, when the yearbook would come out, I would think, "Thank God that's not me." I imagine this is a far more common reaction than, "Oh, hey, maybe I should get pregnant so I can be in the club."

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 8:03am

Another article I read on this stated that the students were not allowed to have other people pose with them for the senior pictures, but they could pose with family members for paid ad.   A person is not a prop.  If that rule would have been enforced at the time the picture was taken it would have prevented a lot of hassle.


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 05-06-2013 - 10:12pm

"Tiller said if the school isn’t proud of her achievements she didn’t want to be included in the yearbook."

Way to go, Tiller! I did not have my children until waaaay beyond high school, but mothering is one of my greatest lifetime achievements. It goes way beyond any grade I ever got or any paper I ever wrote or any degree I was ever bestowed

If that yearbook only celebrates accomplishments that fit into some sort of rigid box, that is unfortunate. Who on earth looks back at the high school years and reflects on only the rigid criteria of the administrators? Having a child during the high school years is less than ideal, IMO, but IF it happens and IF the mother feels pride in her ability to handle that less than ideal challenge along with her school work, who can argue with that???

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Mon, 05-06-2013 - 7:56pm
And people wonder why the abortion rate in the US so high. I find it ironic that this school decision is likely to be applauded by those same people who oppose abortion on moral grounds. And no, teen pregnancy is not a disease you can catch. Thanks to our judgmental and hypocritical society it remains deeply shameful for a teen girl to face pregnancy. just a random thought: how would perceptions be different if it was the teenage father of the child posing with his son instead of the mother?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 05-06-2013 - 12:14pm

The school was right to ban that photo.  The yearbook's not a family album.  A baby is not a prop.  And teen pregnancy is "contagious," though I wouldn't be shocked if she's not the only pregnant girl that year there.   It's a shame a different photo of just the girl couldn't have been substituted.