In a two-page yearbook spread entitled, “I’m working a double shift,” Mesa High School featured their school’s teen parents with their children. Pictures of the young parents and their children were paired with a description about how difficult it is for young parents to balance parenthood and education.
Here is the Chanel 12 News report of the controversy:
In response to the feature, the community is divided over whether the feature was appropriate for the young audience.
Some parents and community members are in an uproar. In their opposition, they claim that such photos glamorize teen parenting and that such images are inappropriate content for a high school yearbook.
Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman Helen Hollands said, “A yearbook is to commemorate the achievements of the students, particularly the senior class… Probably this would not fall into that category.” However, she did affirm that the school fully supports the students’ academic accomplishments.
Recognizing teen pregnancy isn’t the same as encouraging it. … recognizing it is not the same as encouraging it, or even condoning it. Once a teen is pregnant or has decided to take on parenting, he or she deserves to be commended, not condemned, and it serves no purpose to demand that they hide in shame simply for trying to do their best. Talking about the issue of teenage pregnancy might even help parents and their children have a more open and honest discussion about what they want out of their lives. And there is no shame in that.
What do you think? Does 2 pages out of 255 pages “glamorize” teen pregnancy? Is it inappropriate to feature teen parents in a high school yearbook? Is there a better way to address this issue? Voice your opinion in the Comments Section.