December 14, 2015
Lifelong memories are created in high school. Jordyn Bihon is no different than any other 17-year old high school girl, except for a stunning photo taken by her sister Kylee that has been denied entry into her senior yearbook.
Jordyn attends Derry Area Senior High School, which is located in a rural area in Western Pennsylvania. The school offers a special section in their yearbook, which is titled "Ads for Grads" where parents can buy an ad just like buying an ad in a sports program. This section is devoted to the senior's interests, sports and hobbies.
There are numerous photos of baseball players, softball players, football players, golfers, and many photos include their uniforms and tools used to perform the sports such as bats and clubs. The parents pay extra to take out an ad and profile their child's accomplishments.
Jordyn is an active bowhunter and is proud of her skills. She wanted her favorite photo to be preserved in time so she can revisit it throughout her life. The photo showed her drawing her bow without an arrow and looking through the sight. So, why was this picture being banned? I'm sure you see where this story is headed.
Lisa Bihon, Jordyn's mother, received a phone call from the school informing her that Jordyn's photo would not be published in the yearbook. They stated that it was a photo of her daughter holding a weapon. She was told to submit another photo.
This is coming from a school district that still teaches archery in physical education class. But, since they don't have an after school team, her photo is considered inappropriate. When parents were given the form to submit ads in this section, there were no special criteria or policies, just instructions for buying ads and a price list.
Lisa was upset with the school's decision, so she posted the picture on Facebook and informed her friends and family about the situation. She also shared this with "Archery Talk" and within a few hours, her story had thousands of likes, hundreds of comments and hundreds of shares.
By the next morning, Jordyn's mother was contacted by two local news stations asking for an interview. She was also contacted by numerous archery organizations. A few commented that if her daughter was an archery competitor going to the Olympics, that the school would have a different outlook.
In 2011, the "Ads for Grads" section of the same yearbook has a photo of a girl drawing her bow, so obviously this was not an issue in the past.
Shouldn't we be proud of these students, not punishing them? Jordyn's picture was meant to showcase the fact that Jordyn is an avid and accomplished archer and archery hunter. In the future, she will use her strengths and confidence that she has gained by excelling at her sport, and this photo represents her setting her "sights" on her future.
Currently, the school still has not made a decision or contacted the family on their course of action, but I can only assume that they are not going to reverse their decision. What is causing this to occur in our society? Is it hypersensitivity because of the recent terrorist attacks, school violence and active shooter training? Whatever the cause, we continually watch political correctness going amuck and chipping away at our first amendment rights.