Last year high school junior Caitlin Tiller got pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy.
With the odds stacked against her, she graduated from Wheatmore High in North Carolina in December and enrolled in college courses in January. Oh yeah. The 17-year-old also has a part time job she works 30 hours a week to support her now 1-year-old, Leelin.
Basically Caitlin is the poster teen for other teen moms. She credits her son with her success, telling KSDK, “He helped me get to where I am today. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.”
That’s why Tiller chose to pose with baby Leelin for her senior portrait, which was supposed to appear in the school’s yearbook. Seniors were asked to have their yearbook pictures taken last summer with a prop that best represented their achievement and motivations.
Yet despite Tiller’s amazing accomplishments, Wheatmore pulled the adorable pic and banned it from the yearbook. Randolph County School officials’ sorry excuse was that the yearbook should be all about the student and not his/her extended family. Tiller says officials told her the photo promotes teen pregnancy, which is why it was pulled. Yet a look at the yearbook shows students posing with many different objects, including one kid with a family pet.
“The love that I have for my son and how he has helped me achieve my goal to graduate high school,” Tiller tells the local news station.
Shame on the school. With teens tuning into shows like Teen Mom on MTV, featuring girls like Jenelle Evans who is so strung out on drugs her mom raises her son, or Farah Abraham, who just sold a sex tape, Caitlin is a breath of fresh air and should be held as an example of what a teen mom can do if she works hard. By pulling her photo the school is perpetuating the shame already heaped on teens who get pregnant.
Tiller’s mom agrees with the sentiment. “She took responsibility. She takes care of Leelin, she’s there. Right there with him…They should be proud that the students are willing to stay in school and graduate and make something of their self and not try and hide it.
What do you think? Do you agree with the school’s decision to pull the photo?
Image Source: KSDK
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