Yearbook page causing controversy called a “mistake”

May 19, 2018, 5:40 PM | Updated: May 20, 2018, 10:07 am

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Part of the fun of getting your high school yearbook is seeing who’s most popular and who’s most likely to succeed.

Maple Mountain High School’s yearbook, though, included something most likely to cause controversy.

“I’m sure it was meant as a prank and somehow it got through,” said Kilee Hullinger, a junior at Maple Mountain. “It’s a horrible situation to be in.”

She’s talking about a word cloud printed on one of the pages.

It includes words like trash, snobby, satanic and others in the section where students were asked to describe their rival Springville High School in one word.

“I love everyone down there. It’s a fun rivalry and I’m sorry that those words were said about them,” said Hullinger.

Maple Mountain High School students look through their yearbook. Photo: Mike DeBernardo/KSL TV

Other students we spoke with outside the school Saturday afternoon say those words certainly do not reflect how they feel about their rival.

“I don’t want Springville to think that we said these words because it’s not true,” said junior Anika Broberg.

“I just kind of felt ashamed. Like, it didn’t speak for our school and so that’s not really fair that those words are portraying what our school thinks,” said junior Sarah Black.

Of course, the big question is how those words made it into the yearbook.

“We’re absolutely aware that is was not caught. No one did see the page before it went to print,” said Nebo School District spokeswoman Lana Hiskey. “Because had they seen this, it would have been removed immediately.”

Hiskey says Maple Mountain administrators are investigating exactly how it happened and why the words weren’t caught before going to print.

The words appear in what’s known as a “wordle,” where words put into a program and it generates an image using those words.

That image was the Springville High School logo of the letter S intertwined with a devil.

Springville’s mascot is a Red Devil.

“Of course, we were very saddened and devastated that something like this got in a yearbook,” said Hiskey.

Even though Maple Mountain High School is in Spanish Fork, and Springville High School is in Springville, the two schools are only separated by four and a half miles.

The yearbook has upset a lot of people in the two tight-knit communities.

It’s also why administrators from both schools met Friday night as soon as the yearbook page started circulating on social media.

“In fact, the meeting went well into the morning hours this morning, drafting and putting together what needs to happen and how we go forward now with this,” said Hiskey. “Definitely a mistake happened and definitely we don’t want this to ever happen again.”

Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork. Photo: Mike DeBernardo/KSL TV

Maple Mountain school administrators are planning on offering students a sticker full of positive words they can put over the page.

Hiskey also points out only a few hundred yearbooks have gone out and the majority of students didn’t receive it.

However, students say the damage has already been done and they’re hoping those words don’t define who they are and how they really feel.

“Fun, loving, compassionate. I think that they’re our friends and our family and that’s the words they should be described as. Not the words that they were,” said Hullinger.

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Yearbook page causing controversy called a “mistake”