School yearbooks are memory troves, capturing for posterity what might well be forgotten with the passage of time. But if such annuals ought to recognize the distinctive contribution of each and every pupil, it’s not always good to stand out from the crowd.
Certainly, a black Indiana high school student will be feeling especially aggrieved after he was identified simply as “BLACK GUY’’ in a yearbook photo caption – an error local education officials have publicly apologized for and called “truly reprehensible.’’
The caption, which recently appeared beneath a photo of the basketball team at the predominantly white Brown County High School in Nashville, Indiana, outside Bloomington, included the names of all the other players, who appeared to be white, local station WRTV reports.
The school’s student population is 93 percent white and 7 percent minority, according to US News.
“In the 2020 yearbook, a student was indicated instead of by his name … as, quote, ‘black guy,’ ” county schools superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack said in a Facebook Live appearance Monday night.
“An investigation began once we were notified of this indication,’’ the schools chief continued. “We are trying to better understand what this situation is about.’’
Hammack said that school officials spent Monday with the black student’s family “to ensure we are here to support them and to fix this awful situation.”
“This is a clear violation of our non-discrimination policy,’’ she added. “We can’t with any sort of clarity this evening tell you what happened.’’
The district is considering having the yearbooks reprinted so it can collect defective copies and issue a revised version, Hammack confirmed.
The schools chief also said that she “could agree more” with students who had contacted the district to voice their disgust over the incident.
Hammack gave no details about who had responsibility for compiling the yearbook or how such an “error” might have crept in.