West Valley School Photos Controversy: Students, Teachers, Parents Speak Out
Let me start by stating that I don't have kids. I don't even have nephews or nieces. One of my best friends has three little ones, and as we talk about life and the changes that have come since we were their age, I agree it's tough being a parent. With all the everyday worries that come with raising a little human, there are so many more issues and dangers that can come out of nowhere. I never thought something like senior pictures would be something that would cause parents to worry.
I graduated from Naches, class of 2000. When we did our senior pictures, the practice was to get your picture taken and submit it. Very seldom were the pictures denied usage by the school/journalism class. So when I heard about what went on in the West Valley School District last week, my jaw dropped.
In a YouTube video (below) from the school board meeting that took place on Tuesday, January 10th, many speakers (teachers, parents, and students) took time to express their feelings regarding the senior class photo session that took place the previous week.
According to the speakers, many senior students were told to change into a tux or a dress (wrap-around/drape) for their pictures. If they refused, they would not be allowed in the yearbook. This led to many of the students feeling uncomfortable for many reasons. Showing more skin than was appropriate, wardrobes that didn't fit or would not stay fastened properly, lack of choice, inclusion, religion and poor dressing areas were some of the concerns raised.
West Valley School District Board Meeting & Study Session 1/10/2023:
Topic starts around 2-hour mark
I've seen two updates online concerning this case. The first one came from a Facebook post by Dawne Hyde that looks to have taken place before the School Board Meeting. You can see the full post here.
The administration today stated that 1)the student body made the decision for this, not the administration, 2)there was not an option to wear their own clothes on a makeup day and won't be, and the news must have misquoted them, 3)if parents are concerned or complaining they can opt out of having their child's picture in the yearbook and 4) "we have done this for the last 4 years, and no one has brought up the idea for them to wear their own clothes, but we will take that into consideration next time".
The other update of note that I saw came from the Facebook Group "WVHS Senior Parents 2023". A comment in a post from Coreena Sisneros Holden reads:
Our seniors PREVAILED. Pictures will be retaken. Good job Class of 2023. – Coreena Sisneros Holden
What are your thoughts? What happened differently this year that did not occur in the past 3 years? Was the whole thing executed wrong? Should this "tradition" of the past 4 years end? Should a school that does not practice a school uniform policy have a "uniform" for portraits? Tap the App and send us a message with your take.