TRINITY, N.C. — A photograph of a local high school senior holding her son has been banned from the Wheatmore High School yearbook.
The school had invited seniors to include some type of prop in their senior picture that represented some type of achievement in their lives or something that they thought best represented them as an individual. Students said the school’s invitation did not include any rules or requirements.
Some seniors chose everything from baseballs to family pets. Teen mom Caitlin Tiller, 17, chose to include her son Leelin in her yearbook photo.
“He helped me get to where I am today,” Tiller told television station WGHP. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.”
Tiller said since the birth of her son in April of 2012, she has worked harder in school and even graduated early. She believes the picture promotes responsibility and love of her son.
“He has helped me achieve my goal to graduate high school and go forward with my dreams,” she said.
She started college this past January and currently works more than 30 hours a week at a part-time job in addition to her full-time duties as a teenage mom. Tiller said she has received a lot of support from her family and from her son’s father.
Last month, just two days before the yearbook was to be printed, Tiller said the school’s staff told her the photograph she chose would not be printed, because it promoted teen pregnancy.
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Randolph County School officials would not comment on exactly why the picture was pulled, except to say the senior’s yearbook photo should be all about the student, not an extension of their family.
School officials said Tiller could have submitted another photograph, but she chose not to.
Tiller said if the school isn’t proud of her achievements, she didn’t want to be included in the yearbook.
Tiller’s mother Karen Morgan told the television station she hopes the school system will have a change of heart in the future and embrace all students who are proud of all of their accomplishments.