Teen Mom’s Yearbook Photo is Banned Because of “Prop”
Caitlin Tiller attends school in Trinity, North Carolina. Caitlin was excited to take her senior high school yearbook photo. Students were allowed to use a prop in their photo. Caitlin decided to take the picture with her 3-month-old son Leelin. She says no one told her at the time of the photo that there would be a problem. In fact, she said many of the other students and even the photographer were enjoying their interaction with the little one.
Two days before the yearbook was to be sent to press she received a phone call from the yearbook advisor. The yearbook committee had decided Caitlin would need to take another photo because her picture would potentially promote teen pregnancy. Outraged at the suggestion she declined. After telling her that this was now her decision not to be in the yearbook the advisor abruptly hung up the phone call.
Caitlin said she had decided to take the photo with her son because:
“I picked my son because he’s helped me be a better person. By having him, I grew up quickly but I learned how to be responsible.”
Caitlin’s mom was furious at the ultimatum. She called the school principal who said that it wasn’t his decision to make. On Wednesday, the family decided to take the story public when they visited a local television station.
In response to the publicity garnered by the TV report the school responded in a letter to Yahoo! Shine. Donald E. Andrews, the Superintendent of Randolph County Schools wrote:
“The practice at Wheatmore High School regarding yearbook pictures for seniors has been to include only graduating students in the senior section, and to permit family members and friends to be featured with our seniors in the ad section of the yearbook. We offered this option to Ms. Tiller. We regret that this practice was not made clearer to her earlier in the yearbook development process and we will do a better job going forward with explaining our yearbook practices.”
I think the school yearbook committee terribly handled this situation. They should have made it abundantly clear of their policies before Caitlin even took the photo. I think their policy of sharing family pictures in another section of the yearbook is rather appropriate. Senior pictures should be of only the students. There shouldn’t be props included in the pictures.
As much as I admire Caitlin’s decision to take responsibility for her actions and carry her pregnancy to term I don’t think it was appropriate of her to use her son as a “prop.” A baby is not a “prop.” I guess I’ll excuse her actions to the fact she is still rather young herself. Hopefully she will soon realize what I mean.
The argument that somehow the photo would have promoted teen pregnancy is simply ludicrous and definitely laughable. Teens are going to have sex regardless of this photo if they so choose to. If anything the photo would have been a reality check that there are consequences to unsafe sexual encounters.
Do you think the photo should have been included in the senior section?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate