Kit Steinkellner
May 17, 2015 11:04 am

Santa Fe High School has always made a point of saving a page in their yearbook for the school’s parenting teens, where they displayed mother-child portraits. This year, however, as Yahoo Parenting reports, that page has been deleted from the yearbook’s “200 pages of awesome!” and the teen moms have strong feelings about being excluded.

“It was somewhat hurtful,” senior Naomi Roque told KOAT. “That’s an opportunity for us to look back and show our kids this time that we’re going through.”

Roque added that the page has always been a source of inspiration. “I think for other kids who are struggling, they can see: If they can do it with a baby, then I can do it.”

“It’s something you can look back and even show your kids and say ‘Look, we did this together. We conquered high school together,” another student parent, Mikayla Trujillo told KOAT.

The good news is that the district immediately explained that the exclusion of this tradition page wasn’t intentional, but the result of a misunderstanding.

Here’s what happened: For several years, parenting teens have been a part of a separate program at their school, the Teen Parent Center, and as a part of this program, they got their own page in the yearbook. However, as district chief of staff Latifah Phillips explained to Yahoo Parenting, “We were concerned they weren’t getting the same educational opportunities,” and so this year teen parents were integrated back into the traditional classroom setting.

“The yearbook coordinator and committee misunderstood, because it’s no longer a separate program,” Phillips added, which was why the teen parent page did not appear in the 2014-2015 yearbook. In the future, Phillips explained, “The teen parents, like any student group, can categorize themselves and request a special page of photos in the yearbook.”

We understand that this was an honest mistake and that it arose from noble intentions (trying to give teen parents the same opportunities as their classmates) but we still wish that the school would make good with something like an insert for this year. That said, we’re glad to hear that the yearbook will allow the page going forward, because, as student parent Naomi Roque pointed out, these teen moms and dads are inspiring, they have a LOT on their plates and they’re making it work, and that definitely deserves some yearbook recognition.

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