Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats
Because I have a daughter who is a senior at Derby HS, I have seen the yearbook and understand the controversy. I don't agree that there should be more "oversight" as to what goes in the book, after all even high schools are protected by the First Amendment. BUT, what should be remembered is that while we have the freedom to publish what we feel is what needs to be published, we must then also be prepared to deal with the fallout if people are unhappy with our choices. As they say, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. As a journalist you are going to have to explain on a regular basis why choices were made, and understand that those choices may make some people really unhappy, and unhappy enough to make waves.

I personally don't like the yearbook because I felt that traditional academic and extracurricular activities and the accomplishments of the students who participate in them were marginalized, while the more, shall I say unusual, elements of high school life were in the forefront of the yearbook. The team pictures and organizational pictures are printed quite small in the index pages. For instance, the band, which is recognized as one of the best in the state and has about 150 students participating is so small you can't recognize the individual faces. And I think that recognition of student activities is after all, the reason most yearbooks are published.

I personally don't care that teen pregnancy, body art, and public displays of affection were included; they are part of teens' lives today. But I do take issue that they were so prominently placed and at the expense of school-related activities.

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