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Indiana School Investigating After Student Listed As ‘Black Guy’ In Yearbook Instead Of His Name

FOX59 News

Brown County High School in Nashville, Indiana is under an ongoing investigation after a Black student was listed as “Black Guy” in the Yearbook, instead of his legal name.

The error was only discovered after orders were placed and the 2020 yearbook was printed and distributed.

The school superintendent, Laura Hammack, and the school principal, Matthew Stark, issued an apology on October 19 to the student body and their parents.

Hammack and Stark stated:

“I am deeply sorry to inform you that the Brown County High School 2020 yearbook includes a truly reprehensible error. In this publication, a Brown County High School student’s name is listed as ‘Black Guy’ instead of the student’s name.”

“It is the policy of Brown County Schools to maintain an education and work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment… The error in the 2020 yearbook is a clear violation of our nondiscrimination policy.”

“Our district has been working to advance equity and inclusion for all protected classes; however, an occasion like this one evidences the need for expanded response. We are committed to ensuring that Brown County Schools provide a welcoming, safe, inclusive, and equitable school community.

“We remain relentless in our pursuit of the same.”

Hammack and Stark also stated they are working directly with the student’s family in question to rectify the situation. They also intend to cover the cost of a replacement yearbook for any family who has already received one.

You can read the full newsletter here:

FOX59 News/Brown County Schools

Local coverage can be seen here:

After issuing this initial statement, Hammack also appeared on Facebook on Monday to make a more extensive statement and respond to questions and comments from the student body.

You can see Hammack’s live video here: 

Posted by Brown County Schools – Superintendent on Monday, October 19, 2020

The Brown County Schools community had much to say in response to the video. 

Some were supportive of Hammack’s efforts in light of this situation. 

Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook

Others were not so convinced of her sincerity. 

Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook

A few said that someone needed to take direct responsibility for the terrible error.

Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook

Some also pointed to some more deep-seated problems the yearbook issue represents.

Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook
Brown County Schools – Superintendent/Facebook

Every high school yearbook winds up having a few mistakes discovered after printing.

But an obvious error like this cannot be dismissed as a simple editing oversight like missing a letter in someone’s name or a misspelled word.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.