Yearbook Editors Pull Controversial ‘Racy’ Senior Picture

The student editors of the Durango High School yearbook have decided to pull a racy picture submitted by a senior because they deemed it “unprofessional”, writes Paige Blankenbuehler at the Durango Herald.

The photo shows Sydney Spies, 18, wearing a short yellow skirt with a black shawl that exposes her shoulders and midsection, which is not allowed by the dress code. Spies has been backed by her mother and friends in her protest against the decision.

The student editors – Trujillo, Erin Edblom, Paige Shacklett, Alyssa Spencer and Brian Jaramillo – said they unanimously came to the decision not to run her submitted photo as a senior portrait and that they came to it of their own accord.

“The administration really had nothing to do with it,” said Trujillo.

“It was us.”

There is a section at the back of the yearbook that the picture may be able to be published in, however. There’s a section reserved for paid senior advertisements, which usually feature “shout-outs” from friends and family.

 “If she (Spies) chooses to, the picture will run as her senior ad, not her senior portrait,” Trujillo said.

The editors reject the notion that the decision was made on dress code grounds.

 “We are an award-winning yearbook. We don’t want to diminish the quality with something that can be seen as unprofessional,” Jaramillo said.

Durango High School principal Diane Lashinsky said:

“I was aware of the (student) editors’ final decision not to print the picture, and I support their decision.”

Spies sees the decision as an infringement on her freedom of expression and has a feeling that the decision of the editors’ was influenced by administrators.

“The editors all turned their backs on me and changed their minds,” Spies said.

“I really do feel like they were intimidated by the principal.”

Yearbook adviser Tammy Schreiner said:

“I can tell the kids all of the things that will happen if they run it and all of the things that will happen if we don’t run it.

“But I know that if I personally pulled it, I would be as guilty of censorship as anyone else.”

Spies and her mother are set to meet with the principal.

01 11, 2012
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