WHITE CLOUD (AP) – A Michigan school district has barred two pregnant students from showing their baby bumps in the high school yearbook – a decision made to keep with the state’s abstinence-based approach to sex education, according to the superintendent.
Deonna Harris says she was pulled aside this week by a yearbook staff member and told her photo would have to be re-taken because the previous shot displayed Harris’ pregnant belly.
“She said, `We have to re-take 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 told WOOD-TV.
Kimberly Haney, who also is pregnant and not permitted to show her midsection in the White Cloud High School yearbook, said she “went to the bathroom and cried” upon receiving the news.
Both girls say they are being discriminated against. White Cloud Public Schools Superintendent Barry Seabrook said Thursday allowing the pictures to appear in the yearbook would be contrary to the state’s mandate that public schools’ sex-education curricula be abstinence-based.
“It’s our feeling … that (the photos) could very well be a contrary message to (the state policy),” Seabrook said. “We’re not saying they can’t have their photos in the yearbook.”
Haney and Harris have decided against shooting new photos that hide their pregnancies.
“What’s the difference of letting me walk for graduation, letting me walk around the school? It’s the same thing,” Haney said.
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