Our high school has garnered some notoriety as of late because the yearbook staff refused to include a photo for a student's senior picture. Rumor has it that this student turned in the photo just to make waves because she was angry with the administration over another matter, but looking at the photo in which she is scantilly clad may suggest otherwise. I've seen the shot, but will not link to it here because that would only further her attempt to gain as much publicity as possible. Suffice it to say that I would never, ever, allow one of my daughters to take such a photo never mind submitting it to the yearbook. It's provocative, in very poor taste, and looks like it belongs in a Playboy magazine.
She is crying that her right to self-expression has been violated. Her mother, who has apparently sought publicity herself on other occassions, has supported her daughter by holding posters and picketing at the high school. Her mother counters that none of her friends find the photo offensive. Some men have commented that they find nothing offensive--well, of course they don't. It's a photo of a half-naked teenage girl.
I'm all for self-expression, but I believe there are limits. The yearbook is meant to be a recounting of that year of high school. It should not be filled with titillating photos of young girls with only a shawl wrapped around their chests. It's in very bad taste to use a school yearbook to further a "modeling" career with a photo that seeks to elicit such base reactions.
The school, in its great wisdom and in an attempt to compromise, offered to let her put that picture in the back of the yearbook as a paid senior ad. Um, still completely inappropriate. If they allow such a photo for a senior ad, where will it stop? Will we have yet more provocative photos, perhaps showing two people in a compromising pose? If it comes to that, we will no longer purchase the yearbook.
The school administration needs to put its foot down and refuse to allow that photo in the yearbook. Period. I am not paying $50 per yearbook to see soft porn. Sorry.
I guess what baffles me is that her mother, a supposed adult, would allow her daughter to 1) take a photo like that, and 2) submit it to the yearbook. The student is young and immature and may not have the capacity to understand the implications, but her mother should.
So far, they have taken this to newspapers, The Today Show, and other publicity places. They plan to sue the school district. It's shameful, in my opinion. Why fight for such a degrading photo? Why allow your daughter to look like an object and diminish her as a young woman? Why focus on her sexuality?
It's embarrassing, really.