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Final Word: School yearbook photos of teen moms reflect real life

In Mesa, there is a brouhaha over a yearbook.

At Mesa High School, in this year’s book, there are two pages devoted to students who are pregnant or have had babies while in high school. The caption on the page is “Working a Double Shift.”

Some parents don’t like the idea of what they call “glorifying” the pregnant students and said it sends the wrong message about the class.

A spokeswoman for the district said the photos are not what the school district expects from yearbooks, adding, “A yearbook is to commemorate the achievements of the students, particularly the senior class. Probably this would not fall into that category.”

Hmm. OK, I will agree that getting pregnant is pretty easy, especially when you’re 18. But should the pregnant gals be booted from the yearbook, even if they are students in good standing?

Did the district get any complaints about putting in pictures of the boys who fathered the children? I bet they didn’t.

Remember all the parents who complained about the sex education classes in Tempe Union High Schools? I wonder if they think the pregnancy pics are in poor taste.

Some Mesa High parents’ reaction has been anything but positive, the spokeswoman said.

A high school yearbook is a snapshot in time.
It’s a picture of the class as it is, every year, good, bad or indifferent. And to say that the photos glorify the problem of teen pregnancy is a bit much, considering that 10 years from now, most of these kids won’t know where that yearbook is.

Maybe the young moms don’t “deserve” their own page, but they are in a pretty tough club. These days, teenagers are so much more tied to social media than anything in print, I’m almost surprised high schools still publish the hardcover books.

As long as they do, though, and kids will go to great lengths to be photographed with their horse, or their motorcycle, or their boyfriend, I think the pregnancy pics are OK, too.