Student’s Racy Photo Banned, Parents Racing to the Courtroom (Society’s Slideshow)

According to an article on Yahoo (–abc-news.html), a Colorado student submitted a somewhat racy photograph serve as her senior portrait. The article says that the editors of the yearbook made the decision to exclude the photo and request one in which she was more fully dressed. Administration supported the decision of the editors, who Sydney Spies claimed cited a student dress code violation as the reason for the exclusion of her picture.

The editors of the yearbook tried to tell her that it was their unanimous decision that was made free from administrative pressure. They tried to placate her whining by telling her that she could use the photo for her senior ad, and would include a more traditional senior portrait if she submitted it.

However, none of this prevented Ms. Spies from throwing a hissy fit and marching in protest in front of her school, protesting both the administration and the editorial staff who she accuses of caving to administrative pressure to not include the photo.

Spies even went as far as to initiate a meeting with the school’s principal and her mother to discuss the decision. Her father is in the process of contacting a civil lawyer to review the facts of her so-called case which is built around her belief that her freedom of expression is being undermined.

If anyone out there is still wondering where teens these days get their sense of entitlement, look no further than their parents.

It is absurd that Ms. Spies refuses to believe the editors of an award-winning yearbook might actually want a professional-looking product.

It is astonishing that she is fighting them and administration to include a picture that in no way fits the definition of  a portrait.

It is ludicrous that she believes the student dress code should not apply to senior portraits.

Moreover, it is obscene that her parents are standing behind her, and even considering legal action so that she can have a photograph that belongs on the front of a XXX-Girls flyer printed in the school’s yearbook. If the parents decide to pursue legal action, the school district will either be forced to concede or pay their own legal counsel to fight for the enforcement of their standards of decency.

If the school district caves, the school may not only be forced to let similar pictures run in the yearbook, but also change the student dress code to allow students greater “freedom of expression” by allowing such trashy dress to grace their hallways.

If the school district decides to fight for an educational environment free from hookeresque distractions, they could be tied up in court for months or even years. This would drain many thousands of educational dollars from the school and its district, which could result in the cutting of school activities, including the yearbook.

Either way, it would be a major loss for the school district. In the former case, it would be because they yielded their assurance of an educational environment relatively free of distracting dress to save some cash. In the latter case, it would be the monetary loss incurred regardless of the final court decision. I shudder to think what would happen if courts found in favor of this selfish teen

Yes, selfish. Selfish because she refuses to acknowledge she might even remotely be in the wrong.

Selfish because she is occupying the principal’s time fighting for her picture to be included while completely ignoring the fact that if she wore the outfit from the picture to school, she would be given a T-shirt to cover up with or sent home to change.

Selfish because she is allowing her father to pursue legal options rather than allowing the yearbook to run her picture as a senior ad (escort service, anyone?) and submitting a traditional senior portrait for the main yearbook display.

Yet, neither this girl nor her parents are even going to consider the potential ramifications of their actions. It seems they would rather jeopardize the financial well-being of a school and undermine the authority of those who run it rather than tell their spoiled brat “I told you so. Now give them a more appropriate picture.”

Until parents go back to supporting teachers and administrators as fellow authority figures and adults, America’s youth will continue to suffer from an inflated sense of entitlement. They will believe that administrative authority, teacher authority, and school policy are all secondary to making mountains out of mole hills.

If this case is found in favor of Sydney Spies, the lesson for all high school students will be that schools can be made to change their policy if you have enough money for a lawyer and think that your right to dress as you please outweighs the right of the entire school to a enjoyable yearbook and a distraction-free education.

If the Spies family decides to file litigation, I would urge any judge assigned to this case to find in favor of the school district. Forcing an entire school and its yearbook staff to bow to the will of a single senior hellbent on a legacy of slutty clothing and bankrupting a school would be one of the biggest mistakes the judicial system has ever made.


Fast Suit Nation (Society’s Slideshow)

From time to time, something utterly ridiculous comes to light that needs to be shared with the general populace. The Ig Noble Awards independently celebrate such ludicrous achievements as measuring the amount of methane a cow produces to calculate the potential effect dairy farms have on the world atmosphere quality. (Never mind all the cars out there, now.)

However, I believe that in the grand scheme of things, this particular story takes the cake.

According to a report, a 290-pound man is suing White Castle for failing to increase the size of its booths to accommodate people of a larger size.


This story illustrates a general trend that our American society has been taking in the past decade or so. Rather than claim responsibility for your own actions, decisions, mistakes, etc., why not sue someone instead?

I will concede that fast food chains have taken command of our food supply and tailored it to fit their needs. Prior to fast food chains, there were very few hormones used in chicken and beef. Frozen dinners and flash frozen food was the exception rather than the rule.

However, no one forces anyone to eat this stuff. People are by and large responsible for their own choices and behavior. No one tells you to eat your peas or go to bed on time after you move out of mom and dad’s house.

This fact of life has been subverted to say that since no one is telling me I shouldn’t do it, it’s not my fault if negative consequences result from poor choices. This belief has led America to become one of the most litigious nations in the world.

Spilled some coffee on yourself? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault you got burned because you were clumsy. It was McDonald’s fault for serving you coffee that was too hot. (Doesn’t everyone enjoy a lukewarm cup of joe in the morning?)

Slipped on the floor that you just saw the guy mop? It’s not your fault that you didn’t walk around it. It’s the business’ fault for not warning you the floor was wet.

The list of outright ludicrousness could go on for miles. The bottom line is that somewhere along the line, we traded our sense of responsibility for a lawyer in a thousand dollar suit.

Lack of responsibility has even found its way into the upper echelons of government. What, the country’s almost hit its borrowing cap? I know! Let’s find six people to pin the decision-making process on. If it fails, no one else can be blamed but these people. Certainly a win-win for everyone except the six who skirted responsibility.

Responsibility is something we wer taught by our parents and our teachers. It is something that we were forced to endure every day as we grew to adults. Why is it that we forget these lessons when a stroke of poor luck or a lack of good judgment befalls us?

We as Americans must take responsibility for our own actions if our country is to have any kind of future. We must decide to face the music if we make a mistake that costs us more than we would like it to or suffer from a lapse of judgment for several years which results in less than desirable consequences.

Finger-pointing and shirking responsibility creates a vicious circle in which an entire society can get caught. The only place that it will take us is straight down the drain, and then there will be no one to blame except ourselves.