School Officials Apologize For ‘Abhorrent’ Quote In Highland High Yearbook

Aug 1, 2020, 11:18 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2023, 9:43 am

SALT LAKE CITY — District and school officials are apologizing for hate speech published as part of a graduating senior’s quote in the Highland High School yearbook.

The high school students received their yearbooks Friday, and in the senior quote section, they found this quote published under a senior student’s picture: “There are two genders and a lot of mental illnesses.”

This all came to light after another student posted about it on social media, expressing concerns that it was extremely offensive to students, specifically the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Salt Lake City School District confirmed the quote was published in the 2020 school yearbook. They issued a statement from Interim Superintendent Larry Madden, apologizing to students and staff, saying in part, “to have something like this included in one of our high school yearbook’s is abhorrent.”

The District Spokesperson Yandary Chatwin said the district is not only investigating the case, but will be reviewing the editing process at all of its schools.

“A deep apology to the community. We are taking this seriously, as I mentioned, and will definitely look into how this happened because there is an editorial process, and we are going to look into that to see where the gap was. How this got published into one of our yearbooks, it’s unacceptable,” said Chatwin.

Highland High School’s new principal Jeremy Chatterton added that this does not reflect the school’s values, saying in part, “The inclusion of this quote in the yearbook is more than just an administrative oversight, it is an affront, an attack on our Highland community and our LGBTQIA+ community in particular. I want to reassure community members that I will take the steps necessary to make sure something like this is never allowed to happen again.”

The school said the student responsible for the quote graduated.

The student is believed to have posted an apology on his social media platforms.

The school also said counselors will be made available to any students impacted by the statement.

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School Officials Apologize For ‘Abhorrent’ Quote In Highland High Yearbook