The Highland High School principal and interim Salt Lake City School District superintendent both apologized Saturday for what they called hate speech printed in the school’s recently released yearbooks.
The yearbooks were released Friday, and when students opened them, they found a senior quote that said, “There are two genders and a lot of mental illnesses,” FOX 13 reported.
In a statement from the school district, officials said the quote was published “in spite of the editing protocol in place.”
The district’s interim superintendent, Larry Madden, called the quote “unacceptable” and condemned it, saying that it wasn’t reflective of the district’s values.
“To our LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized students I say, please know how deeply your teachers, school administrators, and district leaders care about you and your well-being,” Madden said. “This quote was offensive and inappropriate.”
He added the district would investigate how the quote got printed and would make sure it didn’t happen again.
The high school’s new principal, Jeremy Chatterton, also apologized, adding that “[t]he inclusion of this quote in the yearbook is more than just an administrative oversight; it is an affront, an attack on our Highland community and our LGBTQIA+ community in particular.”
Chatterton, who started the job July 1, said that he would make counselors available to any students affected by the quote. Those interested can email Jeremy.Chatterton@slcschools.org.