Ontario High School Yearbook Recalled After Racist Message Put Under Student's Photo
An Ontario Catholic high school yearbook has been recalled after racist messages were inserted under a Black student's photo.
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering, Ontario has released an apology after a student's graduation text was replaced with racist allusions to Harambe the gorilla.
A Facebook post from Mayma Raphael, the student's aunt, reports that the message originally said, "RIP Grandma. Thank you for guiding me through my four years of high school."
However, it was reportedly replaced with, "Rip Harambe Dooga booga.O."
Since the incident, the high school is instructing all pupils to return their copies of the yearbook to the office on Tuesday, October 13, and has confirmed that an investigation is underway.
Although details about how the message got to print are still being looked into, it is reported that "the yearbook committee included a teacher and a few students," says Raphael's post.
The victim, who is only being identified as Joshua, is said to have experienced racist bullying at the school before.
"In the past, he'd been called a monkey and bullied by some of the kids at St. Mary's Catholic High School in Pickering, Ontario, but never thought that they would have taken it this far," Raphael writes.
The school has extended a formal apology, stating that the "comments were malicious, hurtful and racist."
"We sincerely apologize to the school community for the offensive, hurtful and unacceptable nature of these comments," says the official statement.
"We have launched a formal investigation, in collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Services, to ensure that all individuals responsible are held accountable."