Senior’s yearbook photo banned for being too sexy, violating school dress code

Pin it

The young lady in the above photo is Sydney Spies. She's a senior at Durango High School in Colorado. And she is the new face of freedom of expression and civil liberties in the United States. Like many free-speech activists and victims of censorship before her, Spies is fighting for the right to bare her navel in her high-school yearbook, which rejected the above photo on the grounds that it violates the school dress code. She's now taking to the streets with her mother and her classmates to protest the elimination of the photo from her yearbook, arguing that the administration is suppressing her freedom of expression.

The school dress code states that students' clothing should "fully cover the chest, back, abdomen and sides of the student," and as you can see from the photo, the schmatta that Sydney's got on doesn't quite fulfill those requirements (it does, however, make her look a bit like a cross between Courtney Stodden and a Disney princess, with a little Tzeitl from Fiddler on the Roof thrown in for good measure). For her part, Sydney says that she didn't know that her yearbook photo needed to adhere to the dress code, and she is considering suing the school board, with Spies's mother Miki hinting they might even contact the ACLU.

The craziest part of this is, an attorney quoted in the Durango Herald says that Spies' complaints against the school board may be totally valid. Colorado Revised Statutes Section 22-1-120 says that public-school students "have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press" in student publications, even if they're school-sponsored, although the administration does have the right to trump the law if the material in question is obscene. And, of course, there's nothing obscene about Spies wanting to look fucking ridiculous in her high-school yearbook photo; after all, most of us have already done that in our own yearbook photos, without having to get the ACLU involved.