Sydney Spies's yearbook swaps sexy photo for ID shot, mom to file complaint
Durango High student Sydney Spies's protest over her yearbook's rejection of two sexy photos landed her on the Today show. Afterward, Miki Spies, her mom, told us Sydney had submitted a third photo, but that, too, has been nixed in favor of the shot from her school ID card.
As a result, Miki and family plan to file a complaint over the entire matter.
As we've reported, here's the first photo that editors refused to publish:
The reported rationale? The image was deemed unacceptable because it violated the school dress code, which calls for tops that "fully cover the chest, back, abdomen and sides of the student."
Due to this response, Spies turned in a second shot:
This one was also a no-go, Miki reveals. In her words, "The editors said they wanted to maintain their award-winning status, and they felt it wasn't professional."
Miki didn't specify the third photo she submitted from a shoot recently posted online by the photography shop in question, Thru the Lens Fine Portraits. But she confirmed that it was another "model-type photo" -- one that she felt would only receive a thumbs-down if the yearbook editors were "scrutinizing it too much."
What happened next? According to Miki, the folks at the yearbook "said she didn't get the photo to them in time and ignored it. And that's when they put in her ID picture, which is just kind of a mug-shot-type picture."
This decision made Sydney "very angry," she continues. "She requested that no photo be used. But I don't think they're going to do that. I think they're going to use the ID one, even though she would rather it not be."
For Miki, this was the last straw. Along with Sydney's father and her partner, she plans to copy a formal complaint to the school board and the superintendent in the hope that they "acknowledge that there's been a lot of mishandling of this situation" -- one that's spiraled out of control since the story broke.
"Sydney feels very bullied, by the entire school, basically," she maintains. "The school has been awful and the kids have been awful. She's received very little support in any way from anybody. There's been a ton of cyber-bullying, where people can say whatever they want without looking the person in the eyes. It's been extremely hurtful for our entire family."
Things have gotten worse since the Today show appearance, Miki believes. She maintains that Sydney had an "A" in the yearbook class before she left, but returned to a "C," even though she'd turned in all of her assignments. She adds that Sydney has since dropped the class -- and she'll be leaving the school as a whole soon. Miki notes that administrators arranged for Sydney to take an online class that will allow her to complete all of her graduation requirements early -- about three weeks from now.
Sydney's Durango High experience hasn't been all bad: Miki says she got a lot out of a kid-to-kid program that paired her with a special needs student, for example. But in the wake of the yearbook controversy, she says, "it's been horrible."
Look below and page down to see more photos from the Thru the Lens shoot.
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Westboro Baptist Church counter-protest at East High champions love over hate (PHOTOS)."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.