May 22, 2012
A Texas high school has recalled copies of its yearbook after special needs students were described as “mentally retarded” within its pages, angering teachers, students and their parents.
Mesquite High School’s yearbooks were initially distributed on Friday, but were recalled by school officials within hours.
“They told the entire class that they have a slight mistake that needs to be fixed,” a senior at the schooltold Fox’s KDFW affiliate.
An introduction to the “Special Education” section read, “Some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal” and described two students as “both blind and deaf, as well as mentally retarded.”
“There was an oversight in the editing approval process,” Laura Jobe, communications director for the Mesquite school district, told The Dallas Morning News. “Those who work inside the special education department know these requirements.”
The yearbooks will be redistributed this week, school officials said, without the offending pages.
“We earnestly regret the term ‘mentally retarded’ was included and offer our apologies to our students and their families,” Jobe said. “The use of the words ‘mentally retarded’ is something we would never condone.”
Mesquite High’s graduation is scheduled for May 26.