Worland H.S. student fighting for right to use his photo in yearbook

Jan 28, 2013

Worland High School administrators are trying to bar a student from using the photo he has chosen for the yearbook.

Matt Jolley is an openly gay student who submitted a photo of himself holding a rainbow flag. The teacher sponsoring yearbook and the school principal say the photo was too political. But Jolley says many students submit photos with accessories that represent who they are and he should be allowed to do the same.

American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming staff attorney Jennifer Horvath says students don’t leave their freedom of speech at the school door…

“If the principal and the school district said we’re going to have photos with no accessories that would be one thing. If everyone were in a black V-neck top or something, that would be one thing. That doesn’t appear to be the case here. And to tell a student that a message is too political probably would not pass constitutional muster,” said Horvath.   

The dispute is progressing up the chain of command and is now in Superintendent David Nicholas’ hands. He did not return requests for comment today. The school is waiting for a resolution before finalizing the senior yearbook.