Several offensive comments in Pickering high school yearbook being investigated
*** WARNING: This article contains racist, offensive language. Discretion is advised.
Several offensive comments are now being investigated in a Pickering high school's 2019-2020 yearbook.
An investigation was initially launched by the Durham Catholic District School Board after a racist comment appeared in the yearbook next to the photo of Joshua Telemaque.
The 17-year-old had written a special message for his late grandmother that was supposed to be printed next to his graduation photo. “(She is) looking down on me right now, she’s my guardian angel. She will always be guiding me,” the message read.
Instead, the quote that was printed read "Rip Harambe Dooga booga.O," apparently in reference to Harambe, the gorilla that was shot and killed in a Cincinnati zoo in 2016.
"We do have evidence, at this point, that the comments that appeared in the printed yearbook were not the comments that were reviewed at the final stages. So, that's definitely something that we are looking at in terms of the process and the timelines," says Susie Lee-Fernandes, superintendent of education for the DCDSB.
Fernandes confirms that body-shaming comments are also being investigated. "There was obviously a fault in the process around the yearbook and that is something we are taking very seriously and investigating in collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Services.
Around 200 yearbooks have been recalled.
New ones will be distributed.