School officials say the yearbook is being reprinted
Somehow, nobody noticed an eighth grade class yearbook page that was filled with racist symbols before the book went to print.
The page in Fresno, California’s Computech Middle School was designed by students who didn’t know the meaning of the symbols, according to the Fresno Bee. The page for Kari Pruett, an English teacher at the school, contained the Ku Klux Klan symbol known as a “Blood Drop” cross, which is classified as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. It also contained two circular Confederate flag symbols, which are banned by California law from being displayed by state agencies because of their association with racism in the South.
— Fresno California (@fresnoCaRR) June 5, 2017
Pruett told the Bee that she was not involved in creating the page, but that she believes the students designed it to reflect what they learned in her class, including a unit about the Civil War.
“For me, the flags are symbols used in teaching students about our country’s history and absolutely do not reflect who I am as an individual or a teacher,” she said.
Still, it’s hard to believe the students had no oversight from advisors, teachers or administrators in creating the yearbook, so the question still stands: How did this get through without raising at least one eyebrow?
This comes right on the heels of the news that Harvard withdrew acceptance this week for 10 incoming freshmen who were caught exchanging racist memes on Facebook. They didn’t stop there, though; the students also exchanged memes and images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, in a Facebook group entitled, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.” No privilege at play there.
Fresno is less than half white, according to 2010 Census data, and having overt symbols of white supremacy in a school yearbook had to have been traumatizing for more than a few students. The school principal and the district’s superintendent have apologized and are allowing all students to trade their yearbooks for reprinted ones without the symbols. No students are being punished for the mistake, San Francisco Gate reports.