The annual yearbook at Mesa High School in suburban Arizona, is causing quite a stir. The reason? This year, it featured teen students who were pregnant or had kids in a large photo spread.
12 News NBC reports that some parents and several students were very upset that the 2013-14 yearbook, which depicted teen parents on pages 40 and 41 titled, “I’m Working a Double Shift.” Some say it made teen pregnancy look too fun, and depicted it as an appealing lifestyle choice.
“It makes it look cute and ‘I’m doing so great,’” Shelly Adams, a mom to a Mesa High School student, told TODAY. She added, “...it’s wonderful that they’re still in school and they’re trying to finish up their education, but at the same time it doesn’t really convey the reality of what they are going through.”
Students also thought it was strange to highlight teen pregnancy in the yearbook versus the academic and athletic achievements of other students at Mesa High. Still some thought the pages were, if not a positive, at least a sign of changing times and a realistic depiction of some aspects of teen life.
West Mesa’s principal and the school district declined to comment to 12 News NBC, but the school’s spokesperson, Helen Hollands, released a statement to TODAY. “Yearbooks are an opportunity to commemorate students' school activities and achievements,” she said.
“The material presented on several pages in the student life section of the Mesa High School yearbook reflects choices made outside of the school environment. The feedback received about the subject matter will help refine the judgment used when determining content in future yearbooks.” Hollands also told 12 News NBC that “It’s not black and white. It’s a conversation starter.”
Do you think those pages should have made it in the high school yearbook? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!