An Idaho middle school yearbook included a student who spoke of committing murder with a gun and described kids as “witnesses,” “suspects” and “victims” — just weeks after 19 children were slaughtered in Uvalde.
The yearbook for Canfield Middle School in Coeur d’Alene also featured a picture of the school’s vice principal aiming a toy gun at three students, who are seen playfully cowering in the photo.
On another page, students are asked to imagine why they’d be arrested, inspiring answers like “armed robbery” and “revenge murder.”
And in replying to the question, “What crime would you commit and what weapon would you use?” one youngster replied that he’d kill using a World War II gun.
When asked how they thought they would fare in prison, the majority of students said they’d do badly, with some saying they’d struggle behind bars because they’d only be able to wear one outfit.
Parents of Canfield Middle School students were stunned that the yearbook, which cost kids $25 each, ever got a green light from school officials.
“I was reading it and I’m like, ‘This is garbage,’” said Chad Gardner, the dad of a Canfield student.
The theme of the yearbook was supposed to be “Top Secret,” and explore “crime and detective work,” according to a statement released by the Coeur d’Alene School District.
Principal Nick Lilyquist apologized after parents voiced anger at the yearbook’s theme.
“On behalf of Canfield Middle School, I offer my apology for anyone that is offended by this content in the yearbook,” Lilyquist said in a statement emailed to students’ parents.
“Again, please know there was absolutely no intent to truly condone violent behavior; rather, they were going with the mystery theme.”
The school later offered full refunds to students who returned their yearbooks.
The school’s response felt “blasé,” said Gardner.
“These are the last questions we should be asking kids… I just want to find out where and how they came to the conclusion that this was good questioning for a yearbook,” he said.