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Harm Caused by Yearbook Misinformation

Follow up to yearbook

High school families, 

As we look toward Memorial Day weekend and our last week of school, I am reaching out with a follow up to our previous communication on the yearbook. The current events section of the yearbook contained misinformation, and it should have contained what happened on Oct. 7. 

I am deeply sorry for the harm this has caused to our community. Ultimately, I am responsible for all district communication, including what was printed in the yearbook. After meeting with students, staff, and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to learn more about the impacts, I want to share a few things that might be helpful for you to know:

  • We are proud of our Echowan students who produced a visually dynamic and excellent yearbook. They are both learners and leaders! 
  • We will support our students and yearbook advisor by implementing a more robust and inclusive review process before each section is submitted for publication. 
  • It is our responsibility to issue a corrective sticker for that section of the yearbook. 
  • We will continue to proactively engage with students, families, staff, and community partners to ensure we are responsive to the needs and concerns of our community. This will help us create a more inclusive and supportive school environment that reflects our mission and organizational core values.
  • We encourage students to reach out to a trusted staff person, like a school counselor, school social worker, or administration if they need support. 
  • We are committed to learning and improving our processes to ensure that all students and families feel valued and respected.

Your support, feedback, and engagement are crucial as we move forward, and we are confident that, together, we can foster an inclusive school environment that leads to energizing and enhancing the spirit of our community. 

Best regards,
Dr. Katherine Maguire

Harm Caused by Yearbook Misinformation

We are writing to address a serious issue that has come to our attention regarding the recent publication of our school yearbook. There was misinformation in the current events section that caused harm, particularly to our Jewish families within the school community. This is unacceptable. We understand that publishing inaccurate and incomplete information is both traumatizing and hurtful. 

Our intention with the yearbook is to celebrate and honor all of our students, and we fell short of this goal. The oversight and inaccuracies in the yearbook do not reflect the values of inclusivity and respect that we strive to uphold.

As a district that centers the voices of students, the yearbook is a student-led publication. We are proud of the work our students have done to accomplish the creation of the yearbook. As a school district, we take responsibility for the lack of a substantial review process. Even so, the students shared the following apology: 

To Park students, staff, families, and community members:

We are recalling an error on page 61. The statement for the Israel-Hamas conflict in October contains misleading information and an unfortunate omission.

We overlooked including the terrorist attacks on Oct. 7. This omission was unintentional, and we are deeply apologetic about our ignorance in not including this day in the yearbook. This mistake is fully ours, and we understand that leaving out this day erased the lived experience of many of our students, families, and community members. 

We understand that this apology will not undo the harm and trauma that we caused. As a student-run organization, we are learning from and reflecting on our mistake to ensure it doesn't happen again. In the future, we will implement a better proofing process that includes intentional consideration of the many perspectives of our student population. 

With regret and sympathy, 
The Echowan Staff

We also want our community to be aware of the following action steps we are taking as a school:

  • Engagement and Learning: On Thursday, high school and district administration will be meeting with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to better understand impact and discuss how to repair harm. 
  • Open Communication: We invite families to share their concerns and feedback directly with us at We will share your responses with district and school leaders.
  • Proactive Measures: Moving forward, we are implementing new protocols for the creation and review of the yearbook to prevent such issues from occurring again. This will include review from people with multiple perspectives including students, school and district administration, and community leaders as appropriate. 

We understand that words alone cannot undo the harm caused, but we hope that these actions will demonstrate our commitment to making things right and to fostering a school environment where each student and family feels valued and respected.