9 Shocking Yearbook Controversies


The middle school students who were dressed as Nazis in their yearbook

A Houston Middle School yearbook photo shows two students dressed in Nazi-type uniforms—one even has a Swastika on his hat.

The middle school, located in the unironically named Germantown School District in Tennessee, apologized for the photo saying it “does not condone the placement of photos of this nature in any school publication and apologizes to anyone who was offended by the insensitive image.”

The students were taking part in a history lesson called “The Nazis in Power: Discrimination, Obedience, and Opportunism,” in which they were asked to reflect on discrimination in modern times and draw conclusions about unjust laws in Nazi Germany by role-playing. (Source 1 | Source 2)


The Confederate flag that caused controversy in a highho scol yearbook ad

This senior’s yearbook ad was deemed inappropriate by Phil Campbell High School administrators in Phil Campbell, Alabama. They considered the images of the boy posing with guns as inappropriate.

Leaders also thought Cody Morgan’s page with the Confederate flag over the American flag was desecration. Cathy Morgan, Cody’s mother, designed the ad and said she meant no harm. “I wasn’t trying to do anything with the flag to dishonor anybody doing that. It was just about my son. That’s all it was, stuff he loves.”

Morgan sat down with administrators and agreed to remove the flag from the ad. In turn, she was allowed to use the images of her son posing with guns. (Source)


The yearbook that included quotes by Stalin and Hitler

In 2016, both students and parents at Quaker Valley High School in Pennsylvania were shocked by the school’s yearbook, which included quotes—with attributions—from Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

While the quotes were vetted before publication, the attributions obviously were not, and it’s unclear as to how they got there with no one catching them before publication. Upon discovering the error, the school district offered refunds to students who wanted to return the yearbooks, and stickers to cover up the quotes for those who wanted to keep them. (Source)


The yearbooks that were confiscated for a student’s Trump quote

A North Carolina high school recalled yearbooks after officials saw a senior’s quote which read “Build that wall” which has been ascribed to President Donald Trump.

Richmond Early College High School recalled the books because of this, and some other, senior quotes which were considered controversial. While some applaud the decision, others have defended the student. “I feel that young lady only stood up for her freedom of speech by using the quote of her choice,” Charity Davis, a mother of a freshman at the school. “Every senior was given the opportunity to choose a quote. It was her right as an American to choose any quote under the sun.”

None of the students have been disciplined, but it’s too late for a reprint of the yearbook, so they are being refunded. (Source)


A text that banned Bible quotes from a senior yearbook and caused upset among parents and students

In January 2017, parents and students from Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, South Carolina were upset after a text went out saying religious and political quotes were “too controversial” to be used as their senior quote for the 2017 yearbook.

The news sparked outrage on social media, namely from students wishing to use Bible verses, who felt their right to free speech was “violated.” Greenville County School Director of Communications, Beth Brotherton, backed off from the text nearly immediately after the outcry, calling it a“misunderstanding.”

When the yearbooks were released in the spring, Bible verses and politically-inclined posts were indeed allowed as senior quotes. (Source)


The high school senior’s yearbook quote about sounding white that went viral

Florida senior Savanna Tomlinson decided to leave high school in a blaze of glory with this 10-word yearbook quote:

“Anything is possible when you sound Caucasian on the phone.”

Naturally, it went viral. Over 140,000 Twitter users have liked her post, which another 60,000 have retweeted it.

Tomlinson said she chose the quote to entertain her peers—and because she thinks it’s true.”I thought it was funny, but when it came time to find a job or handle business, I caught myself using this so-called ‘white’ voice,” she said.

Tomlinson thinks others will be able to relate to the quote. “It’s something that, growing up African-American, you are thinking of, and it is something that has relevance in today’s world. It’s a comical truth.” (Source | Photo)


The politician whose school yearbook mention came back to haunt him 32 years later

This controversial yearbook mention comes 32 years after it was published—did Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, found a club that bore the name “Fascism Forever”?

His high school yearbook says so, but it’s only a joke.

America, a Jesuit Review magazine, interviewed former classmates of Gorsuch’s who said the club didn’t exist, despite its mention. “The mention of it in the yearbook was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to poke fun at liberal peers who teased him about his fierce conservatism,” reported the magazine.

Gorsuch’s yearbook also listed him as “President of the Yard, Student Government” and “President of the Committee to Reform The Beast” as well as a “Lousy Spanish Student.”

Joke in high school at your own peril—you never know where it will end up! (Source | Photo)


The Colorado school that raised the ire of parents with its yearbook marketing

A yearbook marketing scheme was seen as a bullying technique by some at Palisade High School in Palisade, Colorado after posters were put up which showed photos of students who did not purchase its yearbooks on a wanted sign.

Parents cried foul, saying students should not be singled out for not buying a yearbook, and felt kids were being picked on for how much money their families made.

The school district said they never intended to hurt anyone or single anyone out—they just wanted to remind kids to get a yearbook. Nevertheless, the posters have been removed. (Source)


The celebrities who made cameos in a Stockton, California yearbook

Bear Creek High School in Stockton, California gave students few surprises in their yearbooks—Will Smith, Dolly Parton, and Barack Obama made cameos in this year’s edition.

The fun idea belongs to junior Hannah Hightman, who feels it fits perfectly with the yearbook’s theme “Out of the Blue.” The idea extends beyond shock value, however—Hightman’s goal is to raise money for the school’s cash-strapped journalism program. She even convinced a well-known advertising company to get on board and got the rights to the celebrity images. Needless to say, parents, kids, and administrators are delighted to share in the fun. (Source)

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