Facts of Life or Morality Issue: Should This Year Book Photo Be Published?

When this photo of Hannah Talbert, 17, was posted on Instagram, she somehow became the focus of a debate over First Amendment rights.

Why, you ask?

Her selfies were chosen to be part of a spread in the Surveyor; Mount Vernon High School’s yearbook. This would not normally cause a stir, but these selfies were of her very pregnant belly.

“We wanted to do more diversity in the yearbook instead of the classic ‘homecoming’ stories,” said Anderson Bonilla, editor of the Surveyor.

The principal of the high school later called both Talbert and Bonilla to her office to say the pregnancy photos were NOT allowed to be published in the yearbook.

Some may think that publishing the photos might be a step in the diversifying direction of our changing world, while others believe that schools should not be supporting the idolization of teen pregnancy idolization due to moral issues.

This ongoing debate whether to publish or not is one that has caused some social media backlash, and as a result, some schools may be reconsidering their yearbook policies.


What do you think? Should these types of photos be published in a highschool yearbook?

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Comments (11)

  • Interesting debate. At first it seems like — NO WAY?! But then you have to say…teenage pregnancy is a reality that highschool aged kids see daily. Wondering if this is the parents just trying to “protect” their kids a little longer. Even though by the time you get a yearbook you’re 17 and off to college anyway!

  • Interesting Rachel because my thought process was actually the opposite. At first I though why the hell not? But then I started to question if this is a smart idea. I don’t know the answer to that.

    Mommy Outside
  • People shouldn’t be making a big deal out of this either way. It’s kind of a , “does this really matter?” event.

  • It’s a mom posing for a selfie, what’s wrong with that?? Her child will be happy to see those moments later on.

  • I remember when I was in high school and girls being pregnant. It still goes on today…very sad! They need to focus on their education so their future will be a brighter one. Protection would be the best choice then to bring a baby in the world that the parent is not at all ready for.

  • While I wouldn’t want to ‘encourage’ students in getting pregnancy so early in life, if a photo could do that, I think that if they were already pregnant, them seeing this photo could show them that it’s not the end of the world, and you can still stay in school and finish, even with being pregnant. You don’t have to be ashamed of it, and hide it. It is just a school year book. That was a big part of that students year. I was pregnant in grade 10. While I didnt flip through previous year books to gawk at the photos, if I did happen to, and saw this, it would have maybe made me feel less alone. That said, its a year book. Who cares

  • As a mom who was pregnant while in high school, I feel that this photo should be published in the year book. It would help encourage the mom to do better and show that she has support and she does matter.

  • Wow, I never once thought about this even being something requiring controversy!

  • Tricky issue, but eventually I would leave it up to the student the photo was of. Obviously she isn’t hiding her pregnancy, and if she is comfortable with the photo being printed in the year book then I would leave it at that.

  • Ok so I have mixed feelings for good reasons.
    For the “yes go for it” I say that this mom is pregnant while in high school, which has to be one of the hardest times to ever have to be pregnant. I was never pregnant in school, after I graduated yes, but not in school. But I do remember, and see today, all the hype and negative comments about those who were pregnant in school. They go through so much with their hormones, body changes, pregnancy side effects, etc. But they also have to deal with staring, rude comments, trash talking, verbal abuse, etc. This person is dealing with something that she will one day be proud she got through. And so will her child. So yes, I say publish it. You should be proud of your students for continuing using school while going through this.
    I agree with the person above who wrote that if they think a photo could cause more pregnancies….I think it’s ridiculous. It’s not for anyone else to comment on, but if she wants it in there to remember the struggle and strength of continuing school, then publish it. And it will show others that something as huge as a pregnancy and life change didn’t stop this mom from continuing school.
    On the other hand, the “don’t publish” is more for her safety and to protect her. I’d be weary of publishing that because I wouldn’t want people to look back and think of me as the sl*t as some people might, that was pregnant in school. There are plenty of other words people use to break people down about the choices we make and I wouldn’t want to have something like this to fuel the fire. Not that I would ever hear the comments but just knowing this pic would be there for everyone to remember, and for me to be made an example of, would be a definite no for me.
    But it’s really up to her and the school.
    I think they should all sit down and discuss this rationally and focus on both sides: positives for her and the school and the negatives for both.
    But let’s face it. There is probably NOT ONE SCHOOL out there, that does Not have a pregnant student, so publishing this is not going to be like “ohhh you are a bad school for having pregnant students” so really honestly, I say do it, unless she doesn’t feel comfortable.

  • I think in this day and age, this is a very appropriate photo.


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