A Pennsylvania school district has apologized for its yearbook consisting of quotations from dictators and terrorists.
Statements later discovered to be attributed to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have the district leaders trying to make amends and offer refunds for pupil families.
According to a statement from Quaker Valley High School, “Though the content of the quotes was reviewed thoroughly, the attributions clearly were not.” According to the Review article, 360 yearbooks were distributed, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Signed by superintendent Heidi Ondek, high school Principal Deborah Riccobelli and yearbook sponsor and English teacher Tamra Rosa, the statement also said, “This is a regrettable mistake, as the school district would never knowingly condone this messaging in a school-sponsored publication. We are well aware of the emotions this has conjured in many of our students and their families, and for that we are sorry.”
The following quotations are attributed to Hitler, Stalin, and al-Baghdadi, respectively: “Words build bridges into unexplored regions”; “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, so why would we let them have ideas?”; and “Be just: the unjust never prosper. Be valiant. Keep your word, even to your enemies.”
District spokesperson Angela Yingling did not comment whether or not the yearbook staff or sponsor will be punished. She said students propose quotes to be administratively approved. Yingling added, “Publishing the quotes is a shared responsibility of the yearbook staff, sponsor and administration.”
The high school enrolls more than 630 students in grades 9 through 12, according to its website. Their class of 2016 has 154 students.