Yearbook Pages Dedicated to High School's Teen Parents Cause Outrage

Illustration for article titled Yearbook Pages Dedicated to High School's Teen Parents Cause Outrage

A public high school in Mesa, AZ has caused an uproar with its 2013 - 2014 yearbook by including two pages devoted to students who are pregnant or have children. Angry parents have charged that it makes being a teen mom or dad "look cute."


Titled "I'm working a double shift," the pages feature pictures of students with their children—one photo shows a teen boy embracing the stomach of his pregnant girlfriend—along with descriptions of how hard it is to be both a parent and attend high school.

"It's frustrating listening to my parents when I'm trying to be a parent."

"The path is always the same in the end, but the heavier the stone you carry the stronger you'll be."

The school's principal, Jim Souder, has been inundated with calls from angry parents who don't think it's appropriate to feature the teen moms and dads for choices they made outside of academic environment. The yearbook, they say, is the place for acknowledging school-related activities (clubs, sports teams, theater, etc.) and academic awards.

"It makes it look cute and 'I'm doing so great,'" one parent told the local news. "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."

Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman Helen Hollands is evidently not on board with the school's decision to high light teen parenting.

"A yearbook is to commemorate the achievements of the students, particularly the senior class," she said. "Probably this would not fall into that category."



Good for the school for being progressive and inclusive. Shame on the parents for getting pissed. I had a friend who was excluded from her senior year book (and not allowed to cross the stage) because she was pregnant. It still upsets her. She got pregnant, made the choice to have the baby and was punished for it.

Teen pregnancy happens. Ostracizing the teenage parents is not the answer. And rewarding them for continuing their education is a good thing.