Owasso High seniors say school 'out of focus' over senior pictures

Thursday, August 22nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

One thing that makes your senior high year special is getting your picture made for the yearbook. But an area high school is changing how those pictures look.

News on Six anchor Scott Thompson says this picture problem is only a problem for some. School officials say the new policy will make the yearbook more attractive and easier on parents' wallets.

But some students aren't smiling. "It’s taken the fun out of being a senior." Owasso senior Samantha White flips through an old yearbook. And looks at a senior ritual that she won't get to enjoy. "It’s frustrating and upsetting. Things like this, your senior year is supposed to be memorable. And granted this is gonna be a memory but one I really would not have liked to experience."

Owasso's principal and yearbook sponsor have decided to change the way seniors are photographed for the yearbook. Now all seniors will have their pictures taken at school in a graduation gown. "Senior picture in the yearbook is an important part of being senior and now its sit in the chair with a red gown on, smile, click, okay who's next?"

Seniors usually get their photos snapped by professionals in area parks. Students pick the background and poses. But the new yearbook sponsor said in a phone interview that's part of the problem. She says last year the pictures were a quote "hodge-podge" and now the pictures will be more uniform. "Her theory is you're picture will still be in the yearbook, yes it will be in the yearbook but not the way we want it in there."

Yearbook sponsor Sharon Kelley said sometimes what student’s want is inappropriate. Samantha says last year if a student violated the rules, they weren't in the yearbook. She says she doesn't understand why they have to change the rules now, and take away a senior rite of passage. "If kids follow the school dress code and what's required there's not going to be a problem."

Both the yearbook sponsor and Owasso principal Rick Dossett said it’s also about economic fairness. They said 45 students last year couldn't afford the professional shoots, and weren't published in the yearbook.

Principal Dossett did not want to comment on camera and said this was -not- a controversial issue.