The world isn’t as accepting of real-life teenage mothers as MTV’s “Teen Mom” series sometimes makes it seem. A 17-year-old North Carolina high school student named Caitlin Tilller was banned from her yearbook because she opted to pose with her son, Leelin.
Seniors at Wheatmore High School were invited to pose with a prop that best represents them for their yearbook photo. There were reportedly no restrictions or specifications for what that prop could be, so the teens chose things from sports paraphernalia to family pets. Tiller decided to chose her child.
“He helped me get to where I am today. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him,” Tiller tells a local FOX station. “He has helped me achieve my goal to graduate high school and go forward with my dreams.”
After giving birth in April 2012, Tiller says she worked harder to graduate early and earn money to provide for her son. She started college in January 2013 and currently works more than 30 hours a week. Still, when it came time to print her high school yearbook, Tiller learned that her picture had been pulled because it allegedly promotes teen pregnancy.
Randolph County School officials tell FOX that the yearbook should “be all about the student not an extension of their family.” Tiller was given the opportunity to provide a different picture for the yearbook, but she says she’s not interested in doing so it “the school isn’t proud of her achievements.”