A 17-year-old’s yearbook picture with a bow was rejected because it looks like a weapon.
Jordyn Bihon, 17, of Derry, Pennsylvania, was told she couldn’t submit a photo of herself holding her bow for the school’s “Ads for Grads” section, since posing with a so-called weapon is considered dangerous. The “Ads for Grads” section is paid for by parents.
Upon hearing this over phone from a school administrator, Jordyn’s mother, Lisa, posted the picture-in-question on her Facebook account and asked friends to share the picture in solidarity with her daughter.
In an interview with a local news station, Bihon’s mother expressed disappointment with the yearbook’s decision.
“She picked her favorite picture because she loves archery. She does it every day with her dad. She’s done it since she was little…I didn’t think it would be an issue at all. There’s not even an arrow in the bow that she’s pulling back,” said Lisa Bihon.
She added, “(The teacher said) I would have to submit a different picture, that I couldn’t use it because Jordyn was holding a weapon. I was like, ‘That’s not a weapon. That’s her sport. That’s what she does. It’s her passion.’ She said, ‘No. We can’t put it in the yearbook. You’ll have to pick a different picture.'”
When questioned about Jordyn’s picture, Derry Area Superintendent Cheryl Walters said although there’s no specific written policy sent to parents outlining which photos are acceptable and which ones are unacceptable, photos of students holding weapons are not allowed to be featured in the yearbook.
After being told this, Lisa Bihon told Walters they were inconsistent, since another photo of a girl holding a bow appeared in the classified section of the 2011 Derry yearbook. That one was professionally taken and the bow was angled away from the lens. Walters then suggested the positioning of the bow is irrelevant because photos depicting bows were not permitted under the school’s ambiguous weapons policy.
Derry Area High School offers archery as an extracurricular gym class but doesn’t boast an after-school archery team. The high school senior is an avid bowhunter and loves archery. She has said she practices responsible bow use. It’s sad to see this young girl targeted by her school for showcasing her love for archery.