A West Virginia special needs student and a female classmate were labeled “most likely to disappear” in their Cameron High School yearbook.
Parents and members of the community were outraged to see the label in the yearbook’s “2014 Hall of Fame” section, which included more positive categories like cutest couple and most athletic.
The two teens were unaware of the picture until recently, Wheeling attorney Jerry Sklavounakis told WTOV-TV.
“I don’t think any parent, and that includes the faculty of Cameron High School, would want such a negative connotation attached to their child,” said Sklavounakis. “The fact that one of the students is a special-needs student is even more upsetting.”
The special needs student, identified only as Brady, reportedly looked up the word “disappear” because he wasn’t sure what it meant, WTOV-TV reported.
“He was confused as to why he was deemed most likely to disappear so he did what anyone would -- he looked up the definition, and there’s just no positives,” Sklavounakis explained.
Brady’s family wants the yearbook destroyed and reprinted, but they have not heard back from school officials.
“We’d like to know from the school board how they would like it if it was their child in the picture,” said Sklavounakis. “We’ve tried to have dialogue with the school and I don’t think the school system has any justification for this.”
“Throughout history, society has been judged on how they treat their weakest member, and I think if you look at this situation this is not getting it done,” he added.
The school’s superintendent would not comment on the pending legal matter.
Image screenshot: WTOV