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Why Did A North Carolina High School Ban A Student From Posing With Her Child For A Yearbook Photo?

Submitted by on May 6, 2013 – 12:28 pmNo Comment

Last summer, high school senior-to-be Caitlin Tiller was really looking forward to taking her senior portrait at Wheatmore High School in Trinity, N.C. Part of it was because she was looking forward to becoming a senior and finishing off her high school degree. But part of it was also because her high school permitted students to be photographed with a prop. They asked for “something that represents you and helped you achieve something.” And Tiller had the perfect prop in mind: Her 3-year-old son Leelin.

“He’s helped me be a better person,” she told Yahoo! earlier this week. “By having him, I grew up quickly but I learned how to be responsible.”

So she brought Leelin along on the day that she was to be photographed for the yearbook, had the photographer take some shots of her and her son, and then went on with her life. She even managed to graduate from Wheatmore early last December so that she could enroll in a community college and start studying to become a medial assistant immediately. But, in April, she ran into a problem. The yearbook committee called her and told her that her photo was unacceptable. The yearbook advisor felt as though her senior portrait “promoted teen pregnancy” and asked her to change it. But Tiller refused and said that if her son couldn’t be in the picture, then she didn’t want to be in it, either. So the committee said okay and removed her photo.

Tiller admits that she understood their concerns. But she is also glad that she stuck to her guns and refused to be a part of the yearbook if she wasn’t allowed to be pictured with her son. After all, she says, he is the thing that best “represents” her, which is what the committee was looking for.

“I’m proud of my decision to have Leelin,” she told Yahoo! “He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I don’t want other teens going through pregnancy to feel ashamed or alone.”

Do you agree with the decision that the yearbook committee made? Or, do you think they should have allowed Tiller to pose with her son for her senior portrait? We think that Tiller should have been allowed to keep the photo that she took, especially since no one objected to it during the original shoot. Where do you stand on the issue?

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