WENATCHEE — Wenatchee High School cut a single page out of all 1,100 yearbooks last week after a student on the WaWa yearbook staff used words describing weight instead of names to identify two freshman girls in their club photos.
Yearbook staff adviser Jeanette Marantos said she does not know who wrote the captions. She does not believe the mistake was malicious.
“I believe the intention was to go get their names and replace them,” Marantos said.
“No matter what the intent was, it was incredibly unprofessional and wrong to have done that.”
Assistant Principal Gracie Helm would not say if any students have been disciplined as of Monday. The review is ongoing.
“Right now our focus is all about healing,” Helm said. “When we can clear our heads, we’re going to sit down and talk about what needs to be done.”
She would not comment on the emotional state of the two freshman girls.
About 21 students worked on the 280-page annual this year.
The offending page was sent to press in January or February, Marantos said.
In a typical year, the section editor, editor-in-chief and adviser review the proofs before the final deadline in late March. Marantos said she did not see the photo captions. She took extended personal leave for a family emergency in February.
WaWa staff members first learned of the errors after they distributed about 130 yearbooks at their annual early release party on May 31.
“They were horrified,” Marantos said. “Our editor-in-chief has worked tirelessly to fix this, but we know you can’t really fix this.
“We’ve hurt several people, unintentionally, but we still hurt them and it’s a terrible thing.”
Marantos contracted with a local printer to print stickers and cover the offensive captions. The administration then asked the WaWa to cut the page out and print an insert instead. The staff inserted the new page as they distributed the remaining yearbooks Friday.
More than half of the early distribution yearbooks have been recovered, cut and returned without the offending page.
In total, the mistake cost the WaWa about $1,000 of their $60,000 yearly budget, Marantos said.
Marantos said next year’s editor-in-chief is already working on new policies.
“There’s that freedom, that we’re a student-led publication and we’re creating this thing that reflects what students think, but there’s also a huge responsibility that goes along with that,” Marantos said.
“We’re going to have to work very hard to make sure we live up to that responsibility.”
Rachel Schleif: 664-7139