'Angry and appalled': High school's racist yearbook photo sparks outrage

A high school has landed itself in hot water after a picture featuring Dr Martin Luther King Jr and a racist sign was printed in the yearbook.

The photoshopped image attracted a lot of backlash this week after the yearbook was sent to students at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia in the US, according to CBS46.

It shows a white student standing next to the Civil Rights leader while holding a binder bearing the words “Official N-Word Pass. Assigned to "student name". Given by black speech n****”.

Collins Hill High School (left) is in hot water after a photo in their yearbook was slammed as 'racist' (right). Source: CBS46

Angry parents told local media outlets they are “angry and appalled” by the incident and the fact it wasn’t caught beforehand. 

Kerensa Wing, the principal of the high school, sent a letter to parents on Wednesday (local time) addressing the “disturbing issue”.

“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. Once this investigation is completed we will take appropriate action with those involved,” she said.

Ms Wing said some of the pages of the yearbook weren’t finished when schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic and students moved to online learning. 

Because the planned images were not available, the yearbook company placed submitted selfies from the graduating students on the blank pages, she said. 

“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,” Ms Wing wrote. 

The principal said the school is working with the yearbook company to remove the offensive picture. Source: GoogleMaps

The principal said the school is working with the yearbook company to remove the offensive picture. 

A sticker of a replacement image will be sent to those who have already received their books. The picture has been blocked out in the remaining books yet to be delivered. 

“I know offensive words and sentiments like the ones included in this photo are hurtful and you have my full apology this has happened,” the principal said.

“I am disappointed in the students involved, as this is not who we are at Collins Hill High School and does not reflect our values and beliefs.”

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