Usually when school rules make the news, you wonder what administrators were thinking. I'm wondering if the higher-ups at the high school in Michigan that has banned baby bumps from the yearbook were thinking at ALL. The school's pregnant teens were told they needed to have their photos re-shot so they didn't show their tummies because -- according to the superintendent anyway -- a baby bump in the yearbook violates the "state’s abstinence-based approach to sex education."
Huh. So parents look to the yearbook to educate their kid? Since when?
My kid came home with her yearbook the other day and I didn't give it a second thought. It's not a book of math facts we need to go over to make sure she's on the right track. It's a book full of pictures of kids she sees every day. What is she going to see in there that's different?
What is a kid at White Cloud High School going to see if their pregnant classmates' photos aren't cropped at the shoulders? Nothing they don't see every day, that's for sure.
So what, exactly, is the harm of showing pregnant teenagers in the yearbook? It's certainly not "educating" kids that sex without contraception makes babies. That's something they're already getting just by sitting in English class next to the girl with the sleeve of Saltines.
Teen pregnancy is a sad fact of America. We can't just pretend it away. We can't whitewash the girls' photos out of their yearbooks so the school can push a squeaky clean image to the world.
That doesn't change anything for the pregnant girls or their peers.
Heck, let me go out on a limb here ... if you really want to hammer home that knocking boots makes babies, you give them irrefutable evidence. Say, maybe photos of their classmates with bellies out to here that will live on for eternity because they're in the permanent record of their school year ... and 900 kids have a copy?
What do you think? Would you be upset if your kid's yearbook had pregnant girls in it?
Image via Lina/Flickr