Advertisement

Kansas and regional news

Kansas and regional news

Parents protest yearbook content

October 9, 2006

Advertisement

— Parents upset about the presentation of an unwed teen mother in the Derby High School yearbook plan to take their objections to the school board tonight.

Sheri Hills, one of the parents organizing opposition to the 2006 yearbook, said parents did not approve of a two-page spread in the yearbook with photos headlined "Teen pregnancy, a day in the life." The pages feature a one-day diary from a junior who had a child in October 2005.

"It presents an unwed mother in her teens but doesn't provide the statistics that an unwed mother in her teens has a 77 percent chance of being on welfare," Hills said.

She also said that the yearbook "presents students who have gotten tattoos behind their parents' backs, but doesn't show that tattoos are a major cause of Hepatitis C."

Courtney Unruh, student editor of the yearbook, said she thought the publication reflected what was going on in her school. She said she didn't think teenage pregnancy should be hidden from the public.

"We decided to cover it because a lot of people were affected by it in our school," she said.

Unruh said the pages on tattoos and piercings reflect high school life.

"A lot of people do get them," she said.

Along with Hills, Karen Runyon has organized a petition to protest parts of the yearbook. They plan to present a letter of objection and the petition at the board meeting. Five other parents have signed up to speak about the issue.

Comments

Porter 8 years, 3 months ago

Something tells me macon47 misses Mayberry.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

This woman organizing the protest is nuts, and so are the people on her side.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 3 months ago

It sounds like the mom is trying to turn the yearbook into a text book.

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

My children are still very small. But I hope and pray that when they get to be teen-aged, that I will not have turned into a screechy, old, domineering hag.

mom_of_three 8 years, 3 months ago

If the day in the life of a pregnant teen is accurate, then Derby teens should have plenty to think about.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 3 months ago

Don't they know you are supposed to hide your pregnant unwed child at a relative's house two states away? That's the way it was in the "old days".

LawrenceRes 8 years, 3 months ago

Last time I checked, denial and closed-mindedness were no way to parent. I guess this is the Bible belt. SCARY

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

liveandbreathe, don't tell me about it. I so want to hang onto my ability to be a cool, laid back mom. :)

1lawrencemom 8 years, 3 months ago

scenebooster: as i live and breathe probably does have a happy family.....and a normal one at that if the teenagers in the household are asserting their independence in a way that seems more than uncomfortable to the parents. Your kids are how old?

Linda Endicott 8 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like she only wants him to have the yearbook if it's all things that SHE deems "good memories"...not what her son thinks are good memories.

Way to go, moms...showing your kids how to be intolerant to the point of discrimination. That was the trait you really wanted to pass along, wasn't it?

Talk about screaming shrews...

prioress 8 years, 3 months ago

derby.... hey i know - add in the letters of parental objection to the year book...

Good point; yearbooks are getting stranger as time goes by, but they are the kids' production and they should have maximum freedom unless they get too gross. If they make a silly yearbook, they can live with it.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by acg ... "My children are still very small. But I hope and pray that when they get to be teen-aged, that I will not have turned into a screechy, old, domineering hag."

Well hate to break it to you but you will. And they will tell you about it every chance they get, usually right about the time you tell them they have to do something they don't want to do, like go to school, get home on time, put on pants that don't show the crack of thier butt or take out the trash. That will be right before they slam thier door in your face.

BOE 8 years, 3 months ago

" Agnostick:

What, realistically, do these crackpots want??

"Recall" all the yearbooks... bring all the kids back to high school for some photo reshoots... destroy all the existing yearbooks... publish new ones? "

===

LOL, you're fairly close. They do want to change it.

=== http://www.ksn.com/news/stories/15162260.html

* " Sheri Hills couldn't believe her eyes when she first paged through her son's Derby High School yearbook. She found stories on teen pregnancy, body piercings and even some disturbing advice, such as, ""The best study habit is to find someone nerdy and make friends with them. It's a guaranteed A.""

She and other parents are so upset about the yearbook they have started a petition to get it changed.

Superintendent Wayne Berke .....says the yearbook won't change because it's against the law.

Kansas is one of six states with a stronger free speech laws for kids. The Student Publications Act provides student journalists added protection against administrative censorship. Law or not, Sheri Hills plans to keep fighting and won't be buying any more yearbooks.

""I feel sad about the decision because I have a senior this year -- he would like to have his yearbook -- but if we can't guarantee that it'll be one that's a good memory, he doesn't want it either,"" said Hills. "

-

snicker Yeah, I'll bet her kid doesn't want one.

===

" The best study habit is to find someone nerdy and make friends with them. It's a guaranteed A. "

-

A sure sign someone is standing on the precipice, when a joke is seen as "disturbing advice".

prioress 8 years, 3 months ago

" The best study habit is to find someone nerdy and make friends with them. It's a guaranteed A. "

Sounds like good advice on how to cheat your way through K.U.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if their picture of the Chess Club includes the statistic that you have a

91% chance of being a nerd.

aeroscout17 8 years, 3 months ago

""I feel sad about the decision because I have a senior this year -- he would like to have his yearbook -- but if we can't guarantee that it'll be one that's a good memory, he doesn't want it either,"" said Hills. "

==== Boy that statement shows the (lack of) intelligence at work here! As if the book makes the memory. So if they don't buy the book, the contents never happened right?

betti81 8 years, 3 months ago

Way to go Derby students! A yearbook is about YOUR year, not your parents. if the unwed mother is a student, why not tell her story. i have not read it, but would like to now. if it shows even a 10th of the struggle this young woman must go through to continue her education, it will be a testiment to her commitment to provide a good life for her child. the mothers want to add statistics to the page. wow--here is a girl who is trying to beat the odds, does she really need to be reminded about statistics?

i say, shame on you moms! it is a sad day when silly quotes, real-life issues and teen rebellion has to be banned from a yearbook. if you don't want your SENIOR to see what life is like for an unwed mother, be sure to sheild his eyes from the rest of the real world!

Katara 8 years, 3 months ago

acg, don't worry about it. It all comes back around to them when they have children & you get to tell stories to your grandchildren about all the things they (your kids) did when they were young.

To be honest, I think if any of the high school kids could actually see how difficult it is to be a teen mother, it would cut down on teen pregnancies. A lot of programs to prevent teen pregnancy have that exact same idea & invite teen moms to tell others of their experiences

BOE 8 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they could just buy these gals off with a "Parents who Care!!!!" section in the '07 yearbook, featuring them and their dual memberships in the "Water Under the Bridge" and "Spilt Milk", social clubs.

This'll be a goooood learnin' experience for Administrators and teachers who love to spout off things like "We welcome parents involvement and input." sans industrial strength qualifiers.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by acg. "liveandbreathe, don't tell me about it. I so want to hang onto my ability to be a cool, laid back mom. :)"

Have you met the terrible two's yet... it's really the same process. At 2 they are learning that they have power. they can walk / talk and want to explore. But it scares them because they are still unsure what will happen.

It's the same when they are teens... they can just talk louder, and go faster -- but there is that part of them that is scared to let go so... they fight with you so the ties can be broken.

Posted by scenebooster:
"Wow, you sound like you've got a real happy family there."

Yeah I imagine your mom and you got along just great all the time....

Posted by 1lawrencemom : "scenebooster: as i live and breathe probably does have a happy family.....and a normal one at that if the teenagers in the household are asserting their independence in a way that seems more than uncomfortable to the parents. Your kids are how old?"

Thanks, it is really for the most part. my oldest is 21 now and we had some knock-down-drag-outs at certain points.

And you are right 75X55, I would sometimes have to leave the room in the middle of our "discussions" to laugh when she would try to use the exact same excuses I tried on my mom at her age. I certainly thought they sounded more believable when I said them.

Now we get along beautifully. She is a strong, brilliant young woman with great sense of humor.

Now my youngest has started becoming a teen. We use to dance and sing in the grocery store and last month... right in the middle of my (fabulous) Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop dance, she looked at me with a mixture of horror and humiliation and said "mom you can't dance in a grocery store".

Oh well

I certainly admire the girl for having the baby and not killing it but... it's a fine line. You can't glorify or minimize the reality of her situation. It's a bad choice to make a baby when you're nest isn't ready. And if you think parents are mean for rules and curfews -- they are nothing compared to the rules and curfews a baby imposes on you.

justmehere 8 years, 3 months ago

Right_thinker: I bet Phile Kline could help them out with some names....hee hee

I remember in my old high school yearbook there were pictures of kids smoking and drinking beer on senior skip day. They just blobbed out the label on the can and put a pencil in the kids hand (how very Bob Dole)..lol But nobody complained.

All of the things those parents are whinging about aren't even news to the kids. And actually, there is probably a good chance that the things those parents are having a fit over are some of the things that their own kids will experience at some point. (Bet their own kids arent as innocent as they think.)

Those parents are naive to think they can shelter their children from life. Good or bad choices. They cant live in a bubble forever.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 3 months ago

I haven't seen the pages in question. I doubt that many who have posted here have. Some here seem to think that they "glorify" the unwed, pregnant teen. How exactly does it "glorify" teen pregnancy?

Maybe the yearbook talks of all the difficulties that she faced in school because of her bad choices. Maybe it talks about how she overcame those difficulties and persevered in getting an education anyway.

Aren't those positive things?

It's like when my daughter's high school class decided to do a play of "Grease", and all the prigs came out of the woodwork moaning that they were "glorifying" teen pregnancy....HELLO...the girl in "Grease" wasn't pregnant...

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

I hope you're right about how the year book deals with it. But I will tell you there are teen age girls who think having a baby is very cool!

I know some that did it because they wanted to have a babydaddy, what ever the hell that is....

some just want someone who will love them.... lol like they love thier own mothers I suppose (not)

The school has a day care so they don't have to be responsible for that. The baby is cute and they get a ton of attention.

I'm sure it doesn't last. But yeah it is possible for girls to think babys are toys or pets. And as I'm sure you remember, peer pressure is pretty tough. If everybody's getting babies....

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

Tychoman is right: the fruitcake who is organizing this probably hasn't had an orgasm in her entire life.

You can talk to kids until you're blue in the face, and raise them by what you deem right and proper, but they are going to make their own mistakes. The trick is, once they make them, help them as best you can to overcome them, to learn from them, and get on with their lives.

Nobody gets through unscathed, but an understanding, supportive parent is one who they bring flowers to their grave long after they're dead.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

"the fruitcake who is organizing this probably hasn't had an orgasm in her entire life." Words can't describe the smile on my face right now :)

Katara 8 years, 3 months ago

As_I_live_and_breathe wrote: "I'm sure it doesn't last. But yeah it is possible for girls to think babys are toys or pets. And as I'm sure you remember, peer pressure is pretty tough. If everybody's getting babies...."

You know, that seems like it might be a good argument until you factor in that the girl's friends probably have deserted her because she no longer can do all the things they can (date, go out to the mall on a moment's notice, etc).

I've seen what happens to the teen moms in the school system. Oh sure, there is an initial fuss about a baby but how quickly the "attention" fades, usually leaving the girl with very little social support (peer or otherwise).

Of course, there are the whispers among the peers on how stupid she is, what a slut she is, etc. She is shunned. Parents of her friends won't let their daughters be friends with her anymore because she is considered a bad influence. Boys have no problem harassing her since she now has living proof that she put out.

How do I know this? A close childhood friend experienced this herself our sophomore year. I also saw the other pregnant girls (there were 8 in my high school total during my freshman through senior years) slowly disappear from the high school halls. Only 2 made it to graduation and those were the ones whose families accepted what happened and did everything possible to help them along.

Many schools that have daycares also require that the mother put in so many hours working in the daycare so I don't know how you are getting that she doesn't have any responsibility there.

Xeno, re: your 11:42 pm post. I honestly think that is one of the most sensible posts I have seen from you! What happened?!?

I keed. I keed.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 3 months ago

Which would you prefer, ottr? That they finish their education, or that they quit and go on the welfare rolls? Make up your mind.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.