An Arizona high school sparked anger among parents and students after it dedicated two pages in its yearbook to teens with children and those who are expecting.
Pages 40 and 41 of Mesa High School’s yearbook titled "I'm working a double shift” features teens with their kids discussing the difficulties of raising a child and finishing high school.
“It makes it look cute, and ‘I’m doing so great,’” parent Shelly Adams told the Arizona Republic. “And it’s wonderful that they’re still in school and trying to finish up their education, but at the same time it doesn’t really convey the reality of what they are going through.
Grace Edwards said the spread sends the opposite message of what she’s always told her granddaughter.
“My main message is wait. Wait for the right time,” she said.
Kathee Merkley, whose daughter is a 17-year-old Mesa student, said she was upset to see an image of a male student embracing the belly of a pregnant female student.
"When you look at the pages at first you think it is of a child development class," Merkley said. "But then if you look closer you see the photo of the boy hugging the belly. I think that was unnecessary."
The school district told News 12 in a statement that, “The subject matter presented on several pages in the student life section of the Mesa High School yearbook reflect choices made outside of the school environment. The students depicted are fully supported in their academic endeavors by the school and district.”
"A yearbook is to commemorate the achievements of the students, particularly the senior class. Probably this would not fall into that category,” Helen Hollands, the Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman, told the paper.
“There’s other kids who have worked harder more, better accomplishments – and they have a whole page for their kids?” said student Gregory Gomez, who noted that many students work hard to balance honors course, jobs and extracurriculars, without parenting.
Mesa schools governing board president Mike Hughes and member Ben Whiting told said they had not heard any complaints about the yearbook.