Mean-spirited jab slips into Wenatchee High yearbook

Mean-spirited jab slips into Wenatchee High yearbook »Play Video
WENATCHEE, Wash. -- Someone slipped derogatory descriptions into Wenatchee High School's yearbook, and now the school is tearing out the pages.

At issue are the captions below two girls' photos. Instead of listing their names, the captions described their weight in mean-spirited terms.

Many students didn't notice the errors until they were pointed out.

"A lot of people are upset about it, and a lot of people think it's funny," said student Mark Hamilton.

The school says close to two dozen students work on the yearbook alongside staff advisors, and they are still investigating how this happened.

"It should have never happened in the first place," said Wenatchee High School Assistant Principal Gracie Helm. "There's no excuse for it, to even be silly or joking or funny, because it's hurtful."

The derogatory captions may have been intended as simple placeholders; a student was supposed to go back later and replace the text with the girls' actual names.But the captions somehow made it through the proofreaders, and went to the printer.

"I think it was stupid that they put it in there to begin with," Hamilton said.

The school came up with a fix -- tear out the offending page and replace it with an insert.

About 1,100 yearbooks have to be altered at a cost of about $1,000. But the school says the real damage is to the two freshman girls who were devastated to see offensive descriptions of their weight in place of their names.

School officials say those responsible may be disciplined if they acted with intention.

"Minimum of suspension, a minimum," said Helm. "It could fall into harassment."

"I think they should, for sure, get a talking to," Hamilton said. "i don't think it was appropriate, like I said, to even put it in there to begin with."

School officials are still tracking down some yearbooks that have the original remarks. They're also revamping procedures to make sure nothing like this happens again.