Maple Mountain High yearbook page called ‘prank’ and ‘mistake’
Spanish Fork, UT (KSL) — Students at Maple Mountain High School used some pretty strong words to describe the Red Devils at Springville High School in their yearbook this year.
So strong that administrators were forced to take action.
“I feel so bad,” Anika Broberg, a junior at Maple Mountain High, said Saturday. “I don’t want Springville to think we said these words, because it’s not true.”
The page contained a word cloud in the shape of Springville’s logo, with one-word descriptions of the school under the heading, “Describe Springville.” Words included “snobby,” “egotistic,” “stupid,” “lame,” “satanic,” “trash,” “annoying” and more.
Several in the community are outraged about it, but Nebo School District officials say they are working to rectify the problem and the potential issues it might create.
“As sometimes happens, students might think something is funny but this definitely is not funny. This is something we take very serious,” Lana Hiskey, district community relations specialist, said Saturday.
She said a sticker is being created to put over the “inappropriate page” in the books that haven’t yet been handed out.
About 500 or so books, however, are already in the hands of students.
Hiskey said the school will ask that those books be returned to cover the page that she believes did not get approval from advisers on the yearbook staff prior to its printing.
“No one saw the page before it went to print,” she said, adding that there will be more checkpoints put into place to prevent such an incident from happening again.
“We would never condone anything like this,” Hiskey said. She said the district is working on various projects, including having T-shirts made that promote unity between the two schools, which stand less than five miles apart in Utah County.
“Never have I met anyone who was defined as any of those words,” said Kilee Hullinger, a cheerleader and junior at Maple Mountain High School. She said her friends at Springville High School are “fun, loving, compassionate.”
“It was meant as a prank, but somehow it got through,” she said.
“They’re our friends and our family and that’s the words they should be described as, not the words that they were,” Kilee said. “I’m sorry those words were said about them.”
Administrators at both schools met together late Friday after realizing what had happened and are continuing to work at a solution.
“We are truly sorry that we have hurt our dear friends and neighbors that we love and respect,” wrote the Maple Mountain High School administration. “We acknowledge and accept responsibility for our mistake. We are taking action to resolve the situation and to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen in the future.”
They said the words don’t represent their student body and community, adding their hope that students who grow up and play and learn together will continue to do so in the future.
Hiskey said the students involved are being disciplined and that the entire student body will be brought together to discuss it on Monday.
“We’re concerned that students don’t see this as serious,” she said. “Maybe more teaching needs to happen. Something like this is never appropriate.”
She hopes the sentiment doesn’t perpetuate further discord on social media.
Springville High School Principal Everett Kelepolo called it an “unfortunate mistake.”
“We appreciate that the Maple Mountain High School administration is taking steps to rectify the situation,” he said. “We hope that we can all move forward in a positive direction.”