The principal of a high school in the Gwinnett County area of Georgia is investigating how a racist picture made it into the school’s 2019-20 yearbook.
According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV Channel 2, the image in question shows a teen holding a notebook that says “official N-word pass” with a photoshopped image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. behind him.
“This is unacceptable, and we are currently investigating to determine who submitted this photo and how our processes did not address this before it went to print,” said Collins Hill High School Principal Kerensa Wing in an apology letter issued to parents.
She continued, "Unfortunately, the picture was not caught in the final proof before the yearbook went to press. That said, this photo was submitted by our yearbook staff and we are meeting with those involved to determine how that occurred. In the meantime, I want to make you aware of the steps we are taking to remove this offensive picture from our yearbook."
Graduating senior Aaliyah Williams of Collins High told WSB-TV that she was looking forward to picking up her last high school yearbook on Tuesday (June 9) but was devastated after she turned to page 148.
“I’m excited for the yearbook. I get to see all the exciting memories and I open the book and I see this. And it’s like, wow! It hurts me to the core,” Williams said. “Of everything that’s going on right now, that shouldn’t be a joke. It shouldn’t be a joke right now. It’s nothing to play around with.”
While the school district continues its investigation, yearbooks for Collins High will still be distributed to students but with the offensive photo blocked out.
Principal Wing is currently in the process with the yearbook vendor for a sticker of replacement photo that will soon be mailed to all Class of 2020 students that have already purchased a yearbook.