"Some people might think it's a little bit sexy or inappropriate," Spies said. "But I think it's artistic. I think it's a good expression of who I am as a person. I'm a dancer, I'm trying to be a model, I really enjoy photography and I think that this is a good thing to represent me and I think they are taking away my freedom of expression."
Spies submitted a senior picture that shows her wearing a yellow skirt with a black shawl wrapped around her chest. In her picture, her abdomen and shoulders are exposed. Spies was notified on Tuesday that her picture is going to be removed from her senior yearbook and she needs to pick a different portrait.
Spies says the yearbook student editors had previously voted 4-1 to allow her picture and already sent that page of the yearbook to a publishing company. She suspects pressure from the school administration led the yearbook editors to change their minds and unanimously vote to remove the picture from the yearbook.
"One of the students told me that they have to support the school," Spies said.
Miki Spies, Sydney's mother, was told by Durango High School Principal Diane Lashinsky that the picture violated dress code.
"I'm fighting it because there is no policy that says senior pictures need to follow the dress code," Sydney Spies said.
The Durango Herald reports that Spies, her mother, and a group of students protested Wednesday in front of the high school. One of the signs said: "We will not be intimidated by the administration."
Spies has an appointment to meet with her principal Friday morning to discuss the photograph.
"I just feel like she's taking away my freedom of expression and I think she intimidated the editors to change their views on it," said Spies. "I don't think she's going to change her mind. I think she's going to stick with her decision to not have this in the yearbook."
The Durango Herald reports that Principal Lashinsky and Assistant Principal LeAnne Garcia had declined to comment about the issue.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)