Should all students have equal opportunity to be featured in the yearbook?


Sonia Jezierski

Junior Kate Latek and senior Shawn Adler diligently work on creating their yearbook spreads.

Abby Ortiz, Reporter

School yearbooks are a common tradition for many schools. They are filled with photos of important people, teachers and special moments that were shared with students.

A yearbook is a way to look back at special moments made, I think the best way to remember is through our schools yearbook full of significant achievements made by the students who are regularly involved in school activities.

“As much as we would like to feature all of the students in the yearbook, there’s just simply not enough space, everyone gets a little bit of spotlight in the People section,” senior Editor-in-Chief Yilin Li said. “But we want to cover the most important parts of our school, the most entertaining, the most fun and not every student participates.” 

For students who are not involved in school activities or don’t participate in any form have less of a chance of being included in the yearbook other than their school portrait. It makes more sense for students who are participating in school activities since they are the ones who are creating these memorable memories that will one day be looked back on in the future.

“It’s important for the yearbook to cover the people that want to be part of the school; sports, activities, and then we have student life features where we try to highlight equal parts of the population,” PHS yearbook sponsor Allen Paul said. “There are kids in the school that just don’t want to be in a book other than their portrait so you have to respect somebody’s privacy.”

Including students who are not involved in school events on the yearbook would not be as enjoyable to look at and I think having a book full of special pictures and remembering the exact moment in time it was taken would be more enjoyable to read. 

“The yearbook is just a way to capture all the moments that happen in the school and if the students are not in the moment than there is no way to highlight that,” Li said. “It also has to be entertaining for other students and if you’re not participating than there’s nothing to write about.”

Students look forward to an entertaining recap of the school year and the best way to enjoy and look back on is having more pictures of significant events that happened that year. 

“It’s important for people to be able to go back to a book, to that particular year and say ‘Yes thats what 2022 was about, that happened, I was there when it happened’ maybe you weren’t in the picture but you remember.” Paul said. 

Although it’s important for the yearbook to be filled with significant moments, we should also not forget about students who might not have the opportunity to even participate in school events and activities.

The result of only involving students who participate and students who don’t could end up discouraging those who don’t or can’t participate, making them feel left out in some cases.

“For our students that are not involved in extracurriculars, we always want to do our best to make them feel seen because the more that they do feel seen the more they’ll feel the confidence to join clubs or sports,” PHS special education teacher Jennifer Simoni said.

This has been the case for many schools, and they have in fact redone their yearbooks to include their students who were not involved in any school activities. 

Although it makes sense to recreate the yearbook to include more students, there also comes the fact that the school year has already passed. If students that did not participate are not included they might find motivation from the pictures on the book to join a club the following year

“Its a good way to encourage and motivate students to be involved,” Li said.

There comes many positive outcomes when including pictures from clubs and sports of the year. Not only to remember what happened in that point of time but also to motivate ourselves and students to join and be involved. As they look back into past yearbooks students will be able to recognize the experience of being involved in school activities.