Two high school students in White Cloud, Michigan, are saying their school is discriminating against them by refusing to display their pregnancies in the school yearbook.
Deonna Harris, a junior at White Cloud High, told WOOD-TV that she was pulled out of class on Tuesday by a yearbook staff member with orders to reshoot her picture because her “baby bump” could be seen under her clothes.
“It’s not like I was holding my belly,” Harris said. “I wasn’t promoting it in any way. It’s just a full body picture.”
Senior Kimberly Haney said she received a similar directive; her original picture showed her boyfriend in a pose simulating a marriage proposal. Haney said the principal, identified on the school website as Ed Canning, told her that showing her pregnancy would upset the community by promoting teen pregnancy. Both students refused to shoot new pictures.
“This is our yearbook to remember our high school days and this is the biggest part of my high school,” said Haney.
Local school superintendent Barry Seabrook told the Associated Press that having the two girls’ pregnancies displayed would run contrary to a state mandate basing sex education on an abstinence-based policy. However, that seems to contradict his statement to WOOD that there was no policy regarding pregnancy in yearbook photos, and that the school district was considering it on a case-by-case basis.
Watch WOOD’s report, aired Wednesday, below.