Paulding County, GA – One student’s mother is seeing a misprint incident in her son’s yearbook as a deliberate act of bullying.
A freshman at South Paulding High School — home of the Spartans in Douglasville, Georgia — is the victim of what he believes is a cruel prank.
When Dylan Worthen reviewed his yearbook – a commemorative book published annually, recording and highlighting school events and students – he noticed a blatant misprint of “Worthen-Freak” published as part of the his name caption along the bottom of a group band photo.
Does the word bother you? Does the term freak evoke an immediate negative response? Picture having the word, or one of several disparaging labels, hyphenated after you name forever in a yearbook. How would you feel?
The young trumpet player was outraged along with his mother, Susan Powell, who wholeheartedly believes the so-called typo was intentional and is calling the school out to remedy the issue. In the index, citing the corresponding page numbers to the students’ names, the page in question is suspiciously missing from Dylan’s listing but is glaringly present in the book.
Noticeably emotional, Susan told interviewers, “He’s my son that I think the world of and he is no way any kind of freak. He has the biggest heart of any 16-year-old child I know, and I’m stunned … I’m stunned.”
Thus far, administrators have failed correct the error to Susan and Dylan’s satisfaction – simply offering to distribute stickers to cover the offensive word.
Over 900 yearbooks with insulting typo have been distributed. Ideally, the family would rather the yearbooks be recalled or confiscated, destroyed, and reprinted – and, if possible, the perpetrator be penalized.
Someone identified Dylan as a “freak” and someone needs to be held responsible for it, but who? School officials claim they are investigating the matter. The yearbook does have a faculty advisor who is supposed to edit the pages prior to publishing, but that person either failed to do so or likely trusted the wrong individual with access to the proofs.
Dylan has elected to take the path of the high road, “I’m just going to act like it never happened. If anyone says something to me, I’m going to ignore it.”
Do you think the faculty advisor should be penalized for failing to catch the error? Do you think the school should recall the yearbooks and have them replaced? If so, should the culprit have to pay for the cost of replacing 900 yearbooks? Each yearbook costs about $60.