High school yearbook reveals student confessions

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Prinnctopher's Belt, May 20, 2010.


Was publishing the confessions in the yearbook appropriate?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
  3. Unsure

    0 vote(s)
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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    By SHERRI LY/myfoxdc

    MASSAPONAX, Va. - A Virginia high school is giving students something to remember. Secret confessions of sex and drugs ended up in the yearbook. Now the school is scrambling to control the damage.

    The principal at Massaponox High School is now trying to get back all of the yearbooks given out. That still leaves the question of how these confessions of sex and drugs got printed in the first place.

    If you believe what is printed in the yearbook, there is a lot more going on inside the school than you think. The yearbook contains several pages of anonymous confessions.

    "I have sex with people just to feel wanted," said one entry.

    Another person describes their dream girl and then reveals she is a lesbian.

    "It should have never gotten printed. I would never have printed something like that. I would be asking where in the world are you getting this stuff from?" said Chasity Johnson, who has a daughter in the tenth grade at the Spotsylvania County School.

    The yearbook is titled "Truth Be Told" and went out Friday. A Facebook page created by two students last year called Massaponox yearbook asked students to anonymously submit your secret or confession. Another post on the page explains how to pick up fliers at school to spread the word. What got published though some students say crossed the line.

    "I don't think it's appropriate at all. I don't know why they would think it," said Chastasia Johnson, a sophomore.

    The confessions appear to be modeled after "Post Secret", an art project where people send in postcards of their deepest secrets. But that is art. This is a public school, a place where little remains anonymous.

    "I don't think they realize what they're doing and how that can affect their lives later on down the road," said Patti Brooks, who lives in the county.

    Although the confessions are anonymous, she said teenagers have a way of figuring things out.

    Students said the principal made an announcement during school Wednesday expressing his disappointment. He is getting the yearbook reprinted, without the confessions, and asking that the old ones be returned.

    In a statement, Spotsylvania County school superintendent Dr. Jerry W. Hill called the yearbook and "annual milestone that should reflect the positive accomplishments of a student's high school experience ... it is most unfortunate that inappropriate comments found their way into the 2010 yearbook for Massaponax High School."

    Other than that statement, the school superintendent and principal refused to be interviewed. They have not said whether the students on the yearbook staff or the yearbook advisor will be disciplined. Some say both are to blame.

    "Students do stupid things but there is a teacher in charge of it that should have checked over it more," said Raymond Clatterbuck, a junior at Massaponax High School.

    The school system said it will have the new, cleaned up versions of the yearbook before school gets out but one parent said truth be told, some students might keep the old one.

    "Confessions" and quotes in the yearbook for Massaponax High School is prompting the school principal to have the book recalled.

    The quotes originated from the Massaponax Yearbook Facebook which prompts users to post to the "Honesty Box." The discription states, "This is the group for Massaponax Yearbook, here- in the honesty box- you may anonymously submit your secret or confession for this year's yearbook, or you may simply join if you are a member of this years yearbook!"

    The idea stems from a popular website, Post Secret, where people submit their inner most thoughts on post cards. The anonymity can make for some graphic postings. And that is what is causing the issue. The Facebook page uses Post Secret as "an idea about what we're going for."


    On a copy a yearbook page obtained by the Frederickburg Star there are some examples of the objectionable quotes.

    "I have sex with people just to feel wanted."

    "I worry all the time my ex-boyfriend will use the naked picture I sent him to ruin my life."

    "I had an abortion and my mom doesn't know."

    "I once did so much pot that I woke up high."

    "I'm pregnant with my best friend's boyfriend's kid."

    Complete statement from Spotsylvania County Schools regarding the Massaponax High School yearbook. The school division nor the principal at Massaponax High School will be conducting an interview regarding this matter.

    Yearbooks in Spotsylvania County Schools are considered an annual milestone that should reflect the positive accomplishments of a student's high school experience. The students, school, and community have come to expect such a quality yearbook from Massaponax High School. It is most unfortunate that inappropriate comments found their way into the 2010 yearbook for Massaponax High School. The principal, Joseph Rodkey, who has spent ten years building a great high school, acted quickly to recall any yearbooks distributed on Friday, May 14. Additionally, he has worked with the yearbook publishing company and a revised yearbook that students and staff can be proud of is being reprinted and distributed to students before June 11.
    Dr. Jerry W. Hill, Superintendent

    With VIDEO: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/hs-yearbook-confessions-prompt-recall-051910
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