St. Mary Catholic Secondary School yearbook recalled over alleged racist reference
Getting your high school yearbook is part of the annual rite of passage for graduating students.
The usual expectation is that you'll open up those glossy pages to see photos of students and staff, memories and important milestones. And, of course, there are the memorable quotes.
But the proud tradition at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering apparently just got ruined, after some racist references were allegedly included in the yearbook.
In a letter sent to students and staff dated Sunday, October 11th, Principal Susan Duane says the school was "horrified to discover that inappropriate comments were unknowingly published" in this year's edition.
Newstalk1010 has learned through a Facebook post, by the aunt of a young man who attends St. Mary's that the alleged inappropriate comments posted in the yearbook, targetted him - a young man, who she says has been the target of bullying by kids in the school. In her post about the incident, the aunt goes on to say that her nephew's entry under his name should have said "RIP Grandma. Thank you for guiding me through my four years of high school", but that was omitted and replaced with a phrase that referenced a gorilla.
The principal is requesting that any students and staff, who've received a 2019 - 2020 yearbook, return them to the school on Tuesday, October 13th.
The principal notes that "a full inventory will be completed to ensure that every copy is accounted for."
The letter indicates that further instructions will be coming in the days and weeks ahead.
The school is asking for the full cooperation of all students, parents/guardians and staff.
The statement from the principal also says, in part: "We have launched a formal investigation, in collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Services, to ensure that all individuals responsible are held accountable. Those who produce offensive or disrespectful content will be subject to disciplinary action according to the Ontario Schools Code of Conduct and/or applicable policies of the Durham Catholic District School Board."
Newstalk1010 will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School