Yearbook causes controversy at Pflugerville High School

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by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on May 26, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Updated Thursday, May 27 at 10:09 AM

It's the time of year when high school students get their yearbooks, but the one at Pflugerville High School is raising some eyebrows.

The yearbook is 211 pages.  But just two pages are grabbing the attention of some parents because it deals with subjects that some believe are showing the students in a bad light -- and didn't have to be included at all.

It's your typical high school yearbook -- with smiling pictures of the junior and senior class, the Pflugerville High football team, and the theater department. But one section is causing more drama than yearbook staff bargained for.

It has a poll on how students feel about sex, shows the nicknames for illegal drugs and how many kids drink on a regular basis.

One page is devoted to teen pregnancy.  It highlights an expecting high school couple and their fears for the future. It also features a sonogram of their baby. 

Many Pflugerville high school students say these issues aren't new to kids their age.

"I suppose the parents are kinda getting at it's encouraging sex before marriage or teen sex or something but it's really not," said Sarya Shuck, senior.

"These kids actually took responsibility for their actions," said Christina Sager, senior. "Put that in the yearbook and encourage people to be responsible." 

"You can go around thinking that teenagers don't know about this, but that's not the truth," said Kristin Walters, sophomore. "I mean if a teenager doesn't know about this, they've lived an extremely sheltered life."

"I think if they have a problem with it, they should voice their opinion," said Michele Walters, parent.

The yearbook came out on Monday and since then the district says it's received a handful of phone calls and e-mails about the contents. The district says it's surprised there's a controversy.

Pflugerville ISD released this statement:

"The Pflugerville High School yearbook is a publication written by students for students and reflects the issues and trends at PHS in a given year.  Each yearbook is a unique representation of the school's student body.  Content is approved by a faculty advisor, and in this case, by the principal before publication.

Pflugerville High School respects the viewpoint of parents and welcomes the opportunity to speak with them personally about their concerns."

The district points out the yearbook also shows how students are handling the recession, two brothers bonding through their faith and ways to improve the community.

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