It's been a rough week for Texas students. First, the University of Texas distributed programs at the 2012 commencement ceremony with a typo using the word pubic instead of public for the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Now, Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Tex. near Dallas recalled its yearbooks after being distributed to its pupils on Friday because it listed some of its students with special needs as mentally retarded, blaming it as an oversight in editing.
According to Fox affiliate KDFW, the introduction of the Special Education section of the yearbook read, Some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal and described two students as both blind and deaf, as well as mentally retarded. The Arc of the United States, an organization to serve those with intellectual and development disabilities, rules the word retarded as derogatory.
Spokeswoman for the Mesquite Independent School District Laura Jobe blamed the snafu as an oversight by the staff editing the yearbooks.
There was an oversight in the editing approval process, Jobe told The Dallas Morning News. Those who work inside the special education department know these requirements.
A senior at Mesquite told KDFW that school officials told the entire class that they have a slight mistake that needs to be fixed, adding that the error angered many parents and students.
Jobe said the yearbooks have been recalled and new ones correcting the error will be redistributed.
We earnestly regret the term 'mentally retarded' was included and offer our apologies to our students and their families, Jobe said. The use of the words 'mentally retarded' is something we would never condone.
According to KDFW, many seniors are upset since their last day of school is Tuesday and won't be able to get signatures before their graduation on Saturday.