An Indiana high school student was listed as “Black Guy” in his basketball team’s yearbook photo while the rest of the players — all of whom are white — were listed by name.
What are the details?
Superintendent Laura Hammack and Brown County High School Principal Matthew Stark issued an apology letter Monday calling the incident “a truly reprehensible error,” WRTV-TV reported.
Image source: WXIN-TV video screenshot
“We acknowledge that yearbook is the only class at this school where all assignments and homework are published for all to see,” the statement reads, according to the station. “We strive for perfection and hope any errors are minor and inconsequential. This is not an inconsequential error.”
In response, the district launched an investigation and consequences will be determined when the investigation is completed, WRTV reported, citing the superintendent and principal’s statement.
The yearbook is typically created by the yearbook class and overseen and edited by teachers, WXIN-TV reported.
“Our district has been working to advance equity and inclusion for all protected classes; however, an occasion like this evidences the need for expanded response,” the statement also says, the station noted. “We are committed to ensuring that Brown County Schools provide a welcoming, safe, inclusive, and equitable school community. We remain relentless in our pursuit of the same.”
The letter also said the district “is working collaboratively with the student’s family to find ways to rectify the situation,” WRTV said, adding that the error is a “clear violation of our nondiscrimination policy.”
Hammack addressed the issue Monday in a Facebook video saying, “This has been a really hard day for a student and for a family. And we will work hard to make sure that a student and a family who are experiencing what they’re experiencing today don’t need to experience the same feelings moving forward,” WXIN noted.
Nearly 97% of Brown County residents are white while 0.7% are black, the Kansas City Star reported, adding that Hammack said a possible solution is issuing yearbook reprint and allowing students to exchange them for free.
The superintendent also said she’s working with the yearbook publisher on a future solution, WXIN said.