Update: 'Inappropriate Comment' Temporarily Halts Distribution Of NJ School Yearbook

A graduating Ramapo Indian Hills High School student intended "no harm or offense" with an "inappropriate comment" in the senior yearbook, the district's acting chief said Thursday night.

"This incident will not be forgotten or left unaddressed."

"This incident will not be forgotten or left unaddressed."

Photo Credit: Ramapo Indian Hills High School District

According to parents, a graduating senior included an untoward reference to a Jewish Holocaust victim under his portrait photo.

In response, Ramapo Indian Hills High School District Acting Supt. Dr. Melissa Quackenbush said officials were halting the distribution of the remaining yearbooks and were talking with the distributor about reprints.

"Additionally, we are consulting with the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey for guidance on how best to support our students," Quackensbush noted in a early message to the district. "Engaging with the Jewish community will help us understand the impact of this incident and improve our efforts to foster a respectful school environment for all."

"We deeply regret this oversight and assure you that we are taking appropriate measures to address the situation," the acting superintendent added.

"I want to underscore that such content is entirely unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Quackenbush emphasized in her initial message. "We extend our deepest apologies to all students, families, and community members.

"This incident will not be forgotten or left unaddressed."

Quackenbush walked that back a bit later on Thursday.

She said a "thorough investigation" found that "no harm or offense was intended" by the particular student.

"While the quote was not reflective of our district's values, it is evident that the student's action was not malicious," the acting superintendent wrote.

"As a precautionary measure, we are enhancing our review processes to prevent incidents in the future," she added. "We are committed to establishing more rigorous procedures for student publications moving forward.

"We apologize for any concern this may have caused and thank you for your support as we strive to maintain the values of the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District."

Based in Oakland, the district is comprised of two four-year public high schools serving students in ninth through 12th grades from Franklin Lakes, Oakland, and Wyckoff. 

Anyone wanting a reprinted copy of a yearbook must submit a request before June 21 to, Quackenbush said.


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