Are These Girls Encouraging Teen Pregnancy In Their Yearbook?

In horrible school news today, two pregnant teens had their photos removed from their yearbook at a Michigan high school because administrators felt that – get this – the girls’ baby bumps were encouraging teen pregnancy. Um, I’m sorry, what?!

The students, from White Cloud High School, are obviously really upset about this seriously awful form of pregnancy shaming. Junior Deonna Harris and senior Kimberly Haney told WOOD-TV about how their photos were pulled from the high school yearbook because their baby bumps were visible. A pregnant stomach in a yearbook?! Oh, God, no! (*sarcasm*)

Deonna explained how a yearbook staff member pulled her aside one day to let her know that she had to re-take a photo of herself that had originally been planned to go in the yearbook because her pregnant belly was visible. The photo itself was completely innocent – it was just Deonna posing with a few of her friends outside of the school. Kimberly had a similar situation – since her and her boyfriend were voted most likely to get married, they took a picture of a fake proposal scene. And since her pregnant stomach was also visible, that photo was also pulled and Kimberly was asked to take another one that didn’t so obviously show that she was pregnant.

The ridiculous reasoning behind this decision? School administrators feel that “showing off” images of their pregnant students encourages teen pregnancy to other students. White Cloud Public Schools Superintendent Barry Seabrook told the AP that “It’s our feeling… that (the photos) could very well be a contrary message to (the state policy).” This means that the state of Michigan has an abstinence-only approach (that is obviously working out REALLY well for them – just saying) and they felt that showing that two of their students are pregnant goes against that approach.

Pregnancies not allowed in yearbook

I can’t even begin to understand this logic. So you’re telling me that other teens are going to see pictures of a pregnant high school girl and think, “OMG that looks so cool. I totally want to be pregnant now!” I mean, really? I seriously, seriously doubt that seeing a photo of a pregnant girl is going to encourage other teens to run out there and start making babies. I mean, come on. They probably already see these girls in person every single day! How is a yearbook image going to change anything?

The girls are obviously devastated about being told to retake pictures where their stomachs aren’t showing and both are refusing to do so. I don’t blame them at all. This whole situation sucks, to put it bluntly. These girls don’t deserve to be shamed in that way simply because they got pregnant at a young age. And no one will ever be able to convince me that images of them being pregnant are going to encourage other teens to do the same. It’s maybe one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard and what this really sounds like to me is that the school just doesn’t want the pictures included in the yearbook because they’re worried about their image and nothing else.

If Michigan schools really want to keep their students from getting pregnant, maybe they should consider teaching them about safe sex and stop their abstinence-only approach. Telling teens not to have sex is not going to stop all of them from having sex. But informing them about the importance of condoms, birth control and other aspects of safe sex? That actually teaches them something very important that they need to know. Get it together, White Cloud High School.

What do you think about this story? Do you agree or disagree with the school’s decision? Do you think pictures of pregnant girls in the yearbook would encourage teen pregnancy? Tell me in the comments.

 

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  • Diasa232

    There were 5 pregnant girls in my school last year and their bellies all ended up in the yearbook. This is suppression of free speech. Everyone has the right to have their photos in the yearbook, pregnant or not.

  • Emily

    I agree with the school’s decision because these girls did something stupid they should have to deal with the consequences. If they want their pictures in the school yearbook, they should do it the schools way

    • Saeryen

      What?! Okay, these girls aren’t criminals. They shouldn’t be treated like bad people just because they had unprotected sex. Do you realize what that sort of judgement says about millions of people? “Oh, you had unprotected sex, you’re a bad person!” Um…no. Just no. We don’t even know the whole story. Maybe they tried to be safe and something went wrong. Making base judgements like that is really, really hurtful.

  • Kelsey

    I live in Upper Michigan and I am honestly sick of my health teacher saying “the only safe sex is no sex” and “the best way to not get an STD or pregnant is abstinence”. It makes me feel bad about myself because I’ve had sex. I’m not a slut, no girl is, and I’m not pregnant. Everyone else in my class agrees that it would be way easier to talk with teachers, health or not, if they weren’t so abstinence-only based. And our school has had three pregnant girls THIS YEAR, so maybe they should rethink their plan.

  • Laurence

    Looking at this, I’m so glad that our school has a complete curriculum of sex ed, including but not limited to contraceptives (they had us put condoms on plastic models of penises), consequences, help lines….etc.

  • lotatricy

    It use to be shameful to have a child out of wedlock let alone before you gradated. And to be honest it is a shame. No child wants to grow up without both parents and in poverty. (because that is what will most likely happen) That life style should never be looked at as not a shame. Because as soon as it does everyone suddenly start not thinking about the choices they are making, and not caring about who they my affect. I totally understand the school. There is a consequence to dumb choices in life….and not being in a high school picture should be the least of there problems. Because I’m pretty sure all of there High School friends will not be around them once their babies come…..because they will spend there time being free, and doing what they want after getting there abortion. I’m just saying . Sorry if that is too real.

  • Superbandgeek

    I remember hearing about these cases a couple weeks back because this is my state. I think it’s BS that Michigan is an abstinence only state. Some of us teenagers have and/or will have sex, no matter what people do to try to scare us out of it. One person in my grade had a baby in june. OBVIOUSLY that worked. I want them to teach us how to use birth control, I want them to teach me that sex isn’t some scary thing that will harm you.