Yearbook Nightmares: Students Remembered for Fat Joke, Racial Pranks

What happened at Charter Oak High School in Covina, Calif. last year was definitely intentional. More than 2,000 yearbooks went out last spring with the names of the Black Student Union members altered.

The fake names included "Teyshawn," "Shaniqua," "Laquan" and "Crisphy."

Back in 2005, Texas senior Shadoyia Jones was horrified when she saw the National Honor Society photo in her Waxahachie High School yearbook. All of the white students were identified by their names. But when the list came to Jones name she was labeled as "Black Girl." Jones was the only black person in the picture.

According to media reports, the school district issued an apology and asked the students to return their yearbooks so the offending page could be replaced with a corrected version.

Dealing With Hurt Feelings, Punishment

Kaslow said the racial and homophobic comments and pranks are especially horrifying because they put down not just one person, but an entire class of people.

"It's so important for people to be respectful for one another and some of these actions are just cruel," she said. "It's like where have we come if this is still going on?"

In the cases of Marie Gray in Arizona and the Charter Oak students in Calif., those kids were subjected to what amounts to "emotionally bullying," Kaslow said, likely by a group of students who are so insecure about themselves they felt compelled to slam others.

"They're really troubled in their own way and not really ready to move forward to the next step in life," Kaslow said, predicting trouble for the pranksters in college and the workplace.

She suggested school administrators not just punish the bullies with suspensions and detentions -- "that just makes them mad and doesn't punish them in any way" -- but rather with education on sensitivity and empathy so they can learn the consequences of their actions.

"Adolescence is hard enough," she said. "It's such a big deal then."

But for the kids tormented and humiliated by their forever scarred yearbooks, Kaslow said they'll only stay stuck in the humiliation if they don't muster up the courage to get on with things.

And that means no hiding in their bedrooms.

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