(DURANGO, Colo.) — A Colorado teenager whose yearbook picture was rejected for being too revealing is vowing to fight the ban with her high school’s administration, but the editors of the yearbook insist it was their decision alone on the photo.
The five student editors of the Durango High School yearbook in Durango, Colo., told the Durango Herald they were the ones who made the call not to publish a picture of senior Sydney Spies posing in a yellow skirt and midriff and shoulder-exposing black shawl as her senior portrait.
“We are an award-winning yearbook. We don’t want to diminish the quality with something that can be seen as unprofessional,” student Brian Jaramillo told the paper on Thursday.
Spies was joined by her mother, Miki Spies, and a handful of fellow Durango High students and alumni in a protest outside the school Wednesday after, she said, administrators informed her the photo would not be permitted because it violated dress code.
“I feel like they aren’t allowing me to have my freedom of expression,” Spies told the Herald. “I think the administration is wrong in this situation, and I don’t want this to happen to other people.”
The five editors, who said their decision was unanimous, said Spies’ blame was misplaced, in both targeting the administration, and believing that it was a dress code issue.
They also offered her an opportunity to include the photo in the yearbook, just not as her senior photo.
“If she (Spies) chooses to, the picture will run as her senior ad, not her senior portrait,” Trujillo said.
Despite the clarification from her peers into how and why the decision was made, a meeting Spies initiated between herself, her mother, and the school’s principal, Diane Lashinsky, was held Friday as planned.
“The editors all turned their backs on me and changed their minds,” she told the Herald. “I really do feel like they were intimidated by the principal.”
Neither Spies nor the school responded to ABC News’ requests for comments Friday on the meeting’s outcome.
The Durango School District, which oversees the high school, issued the following statement to ABC News:
“The editors of Durango High School’s yearbook informed a senior student in December that her photo in question would not be included as a senior portrait in the yearbook and asked her to submit a replacement. Durango School District 9-R’s administration supports this decision.”
Prior to Friday’s meeting, the Spies family told local media they planned to meet with a civil lawyer in Denver to review their daughter’s case.
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