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Colorado Teen Senior Picture Being Pulled, Called “Too Revealing” [VIDEO]

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Sydney Spies (pronounced “Speez”), an 18-year-old girl from Durango, CO, has aspirations of being a professional model, something she wants expressed in her senior photo.  Before the Christmas break, Sydney provided the yearbook staff with a picture she felt best represented who she is.  Sydney says that at the time, the yearbook staff accepted the picture with no problem.  After the break, Syndey was told that the picture, in which she wears a yellow mini-skirt and a black top exposing her midriff and shoulders, was inappropriate for the award-winning yearbook and she would have to select another photo.  Syndey then provided another modeling shot of her wearing a form-fitting black dress, but that photo was also denied.  In an interview with CBS’ “Today”, Syndey said she doesn’t think the decision was on the part of the yearbook staff, but from the school administration,

“I think it was the administration.  They had a meeting with the principal and the next day their whole decision changed and completely against me.”

Syndey’s mother Miki had originally asked her daughter to submit a less revealing picture, but now sees her daughter’s point,

“Now, looking at the picture, I see it the way Sydney sees it. It’s artistic. It’s stunning.”

The school’s yearbook staff says that the decision was entirely their own, citing the precedent of a male student from two years earlier who wanted to be shirtless in his senior picture.  Yearbook editor Brian Jamirillo said,

“We didn’t want this picture to make our publication seem unprofessional and inappropriate,”

Sydney and her mother were given the option to still have the picture included in the yearbook, but as a paid ad the seniors are allowed to purchase for $300.  The Spies are considering legal action against the school and the yearbook staff, saying Syndey’s right to free expression has been violated.  According to a Colorado state statute,

“students of the public schools shall have the right to exercise freedom of the press” and “no expression contained in a student publication, whether or not such publication is school sponsored, shall be subject to prior restraint.”

What do you think of this?  Should Sydney’s picture be allowed as her senior picture?  Are her rights being violated by not including her chosen picture?


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