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Indian Hills High School Yearbook Yanked Over Antisemitic Quote

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Oakland NJ, a controversial photo caption in this year’s Indian Hills High School yearbook has drawn fresh criticism from parents, who claim that the district’s administration is not adequately preventing bias incidents within its 2,000-student body.

Acting Superintendent Melissa Quackenbush of the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District issued an apology on Thursday for an “inappropriate comment” found in the 2024 yearbook of one of the district’s high schools. The comment, which appeared beneath a photograph of a graduating senior, read: ” ‘They found me’ — Anne Frank.”

Anne Frank, the 16-year-old German-born Jewish girl, chronicled her life in hiding from Nazi persecution in her diary. Her family’s eventual discovery and deportation to concentration camps, where most of them perished, is a poignant story of the Holocaust. Published in 1947 after Anne’s death, her diary is a seminal work of World War II literature, noted for its expressions of hope and acceptance amidst the horrors of antisemitism.

The quote, not a part of Anne Frank’s diary, has left many questioning its intent and appropriateness. The family of the student who submitted the quote could not be reached for immediate comment.

“We deeply regret this oversight and assure you that we are taking appropriate measures to address the situation,” Quackenbush said in an email to parents on Thursday. “Such content is entirely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Measures to Address the Situation

In response to the incident, the district has implemented the following actions:

  • Consultation with the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey: The district will seek guidance on how to best support students and address issues of bias and antisemitism.
  • Halting Distribution: The remaining yearbooks will not be distributed until further notice.

There was no statement from the district regarding its policies for reviewing yearbook content by the yearbook advisor, leaving some parents concerned about the measures in place to prevent such incidents.

This incident follows another controversy earlier this year when swastika graffiti was discovered in a bathroom at Ramapo High School just before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January. Critics argue that the district’s response to these incidents has been insufficient, highlighting a need for more stringent oversight and proactive measures.

The Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District oversees two high schools serving students from Franklin Lakes, Oakland, and Wyckoff. As the community grapples with these incidents, the administration’s commitment to addressing bias and ensuring a safe, inclusive environment for all students is under scrutiny.

For further updates on the situation and the district’s actions, parents and community members are encouraged to stay informed through official district communications.

3 thoughts on “Indian Hills High School Yearbook Yanked Over Antisemitic Quote

  1. Pull the yearbook, okay, fine.

    Everything else beyond that is public grandstanding and virtue-signaling.

    These superintendents must get paid by the word. The more ambiguous, emotional and needless the next word they utter, the better.

  2. Seems kind of mild (perhaps light comedy) compared to what these high school students and we see every day on the news, and social media, mostly emanating from our elite college campuses. Clean it up in high school, only to be immersed in the filth once they go on to ‘higher education’.

    1. The self-righteousness of some people who obviously can’t take a joke (even a stupid one) is not terribly funny.

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