Sydney Spies, a Durango, Colo., High School senior, incurred a bit of a snafu when administrators at her school yanked her yearbook photo due to her super-sexy attire.
Officials at the school told the 18-year-old that she had violated the Colorado school's dress code by wearing a black shawl as a top and a bright yellow skirt with inches of skin in between. The high school requires that tops fully cover the chest, back, abdomen and sides of the student.
But, Spies claimed that she was just exhibiting her freedom of expression.
Some people might think it's a little bit sexy or inappropriate. But I think it's artistic. I think it's a good expression of who I am as a person, Spies told 9News. I'm a dancer, I'm trying to be a model, I really enjoy photography and I think that this is a good thing to represent me and I think they are taking away my freedom of expression.
Spies said that she turned in the photo to school officials and then was told to choose a different shot. However, she claims yearbook editors had already voted 4-to-1 to allow it.
The editors disagreed. They told The Durango Herald Thursday that they were the ones who decided to remove Spies' photo, not school officials. We are an award-winning yearbook. We don't want to diminish the quality with something that can be seen as unprofessional, said the student editor.
The blonde teenager has made headlines across the nation for the now-infamous photo. What you're looking at is not a flier for a taxi dance club/potato bar located on the outskirts of Reno. This is the picture 18-year-old Sydney Spies (no comment on that name) tried to submit as her official senior portrait, wrote DListed blogger Michael K.
According to the Student Press Law Center, Colorado's Revised Statutes Section 22-1-120, students of the public schools shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press and that no expression contained in a student publication, whether or not such publication is school-sponsored, shall be subject to prior restraint.
On Wednesday, Spies, a friend and her mother stood outside of the school with signs protesting the decision, reports The Durango Herald. Spies defended her choice.
It's a little different from everyone else's picture, she said. I feel like they aren't allowing me to have my freedom of expression. I think the administration is wrong in this situation, and I don't want this to happen to other people.
Miki Spies, Sydney's mother, joined her daughter in the protest.
The yearbook adviser is saying she can't use the picture; so the students are left with no voice in it, Miki Spies said. The law clearly states that it is the student's right to decide.