WHITE CLOUD, Michigan (WOOD) – Two White Cloud teens were banned from showing their pregnancies in the yearbook.
They say they are being discriminated against. The White Cloud superintendent says it would promote teen pregnancy.
This year’s yearbook doesn’t invoke the nostalgic feeling it’s supposed to for White Cloud High School junior Deonna Harris and senior Kimberly Haney.
“It made me tear up. I was trying to hold it back because I didn’t want everyone to ask me why I was crying and stuff,” Harris said.
Harris was in class Tuesday when she got pulled out to the hall by a yearbook staff member.
“She said, ‘We have to retake this picture.’ I was kind of confused and asked what was wrong with it and she was like, ‘Well, the yearbook teacher told me you can’t have your belly in, it so we have to retake it,’” Harris said.
The picture was of Harris and a couple friends in a truck outside school.
“It’s not like I was holding my belly. I wasn’t promoting it in any way. It’s just a full body picture,” Haney said.
Haney and her boyfriend were voted most likely to get married. He was pretending to propose in the picture, but the pose wasn’t allowed because it showed her bump.
“I also went to the bathroom and cried,” Haney said.
The principal told her they decided that showing their pregnancies would promote teen pregnancy and upset the community.
“What’s the difference of letting me walk for graduation, letting me walk around the school? It’s the same thing,” Haney said.
The superintendent refused to talk to 24 Hour News 8 on camera, but did say he agrees there is no difference. However, he said he wants to keep parents from complaining and supports the decision.
“This is our yearbook to remember our high school days and this is the biggest part of my high school,” Haney said.
The superintendent said there isn’t a specific yearbook policy on the issue and that it’s a case-by-case basis.
Both girls have decided not to shoot new pictures hiding their pregnancies.