An Indiana high school superintendent is apologizing after a student was labeled as “BLACK GUY” in a yearbook caption.
Laura Hammack, superintendent of Brown County Schools in Nashville, Indiana, took to Facebook on Monday, October 19, to apologize for the Brown County High School incident, calling it “incomprehensible.”
“(The 2020 Brown County High School yearbook) has a truly incomprehensible statement included in it, and we are currently trying to better understand what that situation is all about,” Hammack said in a Facebook Live video.
According to WRTV, the offensive caption accompanied a photo of the high school’s basketball team. It included the names of all the other players, who appear to be white, the station continued.
“In the 2020 yearbook, a student was indicated instead of by his name, he was indicated as, quote, ‘black guy,’” Hammack disclosed during her social media video.
She noted that the school officials spent Monday, October 19, with the student’s family to offer their support and “fix this awful situation.”
The act violates the district’s nondiscrimination policy, Hammack continued.
“This is a clear violation of our nondiscrimination policy,’’ the superintendent said. “We can’t with any sort of clarity this evening tell you what happened.”
The district’s nondiscrimination policy prohibits “all forms of discrimination and harassment,” stating:
It is the policy of Brown County Schools to maintain an education and work environment which is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and harassment based on sexual orientation. Brown County Schools does not discriminate or tolerate harassment on the basis of a protected class including but not limited to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, genetic information, or disability in the programs or activities which it operates.
An investigation is currently underway, Hammack disclosed. Parents and students have also been notified of the error, according to CBS4.
Here’s what you need to know:
The District Is Considering Reprinting the Yearbooks
Hammack stated during her Monday, October 19, Facebook Live video that the appropriate consequences would be given once the investigation is finished. She added that the district is also exploring options to reprint the yearbooks.
The district would take on the added costs, she continued.
“This has been a hard day, but what is most important is that this has been a really hard day for a student and for a family, and we will work hard to make sure that a student and a family who are experiencing what they’re experiencing today don’t need to experience the same feelings moving forward,” Hammack said in the video.
“I just commit to our school community that we will be relentless in making this right and making this a moment that we can certainly look back on and one day say we’re doing better.”
As of the 2019-20 School Year, Brown County High School’s Student Population Was Roughly 92 Percent White, According to State Data
As of the 2019-20 school year, roughly 92% of Brown County High School’s 577 students were white, according to state data.
Although the state data claims that 0% of the school’s population is Black, The State reported .07% of the student body is Black.
The state website claims the “enrollment represents the count of students as of October 1st.”