Windsor Forest High School students have been asked to return their yearbooks after a derogatory racial term was found on one of the pages.
A photo of the yearbook page shows a student sporting Windsor Forest school colors, holding a piece of paper with ‘n-word’ written out in green.
The backlash on social media began quickly.
The mother of the girl in the photo took to Facebook writing, “This is my biracial child in the picture, she is holding a note that another student wrote to her! I am so very upset that my child, who did not write the note, is being called names and attacked in this manner…. this is unacceptable!”
Other parents with students at Windsor Forest, like James Fredd, agree.
But Fredd adds he believes it’s a sign of the times.
“It’s kind of upsetting, but I mean it’s the world we live in today you know, with the freedom of speech thing,” Fredd said. “Everybody feels like they can write and do whatever they want to do.”
According to the school, the yearbook publisher has recalled all yearbooks and new prints have been discontinued. Students are required to turn in books by Friday, May 25 for corrections to be made.
But a few questions remain:
How did this happen?
What is the current editing process?
Who is the yearbook advisor?
Who gave final approval?
Will there be repercussions?
“Unfortunately, they have no answers to any of those questions and the district will not be providing sound (interviews) on this issue,” a spokesperson for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System told News 3.
The district administration does label the photo offensive. The yearbooks are being reprinted and reissued by the publisher at no cost to the students or the district.
“We sincerely apologize for the failure to ensure that the final print was free of errors and offensive captions/pictures,” said Windsor Forest High School Principal Derrick Butler in a text to parents. “Please note that this is not a representation of our school. Our school values and embraces diversity and believes that every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Principal Butler said in the text that the staff and yearbook editors recently discovered the photo.
In an effort to provide greater yearbook content oversight, the district says they will start diversity and sensitivity training for students in the new school year.
They say additional layers of review will also be in place before the final printing and distribution of future yearbooks at the school.
The school district did not name the school’s advisor for the yearbook.