COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Parents of Canfield Middle School students took to social media to express their anger over the theme of this year's yearbook, which asks students to weigh in on what they would be sent to prison for, what weapon they would use and how they think they would do in prison.
One page of the yearbook asked students why they would get arrested. Two students said they would be arrested for stealing, while others said they would be arrested for a car wreck, armed robbery and "revenge murder."
Students' individual photos were arranged by grade, which were listed as "6th Grade Witnesses," "7th Grade Victims" and "8th Grade Suspects."
When asked what crime they would commit and what weapon they would use, one student replied, "The crime I would commit is murder using a World War II gun." Another student said they would rob a bank using scissors.
Photos: Canfield Middle School yearbook
"It takes a lot for me to be offended," Canfield parent Jessica Luchini said. "I'm pretty easy going and you know kids will be kids, but I couldn't believe that this passed through adults' hands and distributed to children."
KREM 2 obtained an email sent to Canfield parents by principal Nick Lilyquist. In the email, Lilyquist said the theme of this year's yearbook is mystery and the intent was to align with the mystery theme. He added that some of the pages represent violence, which the school does not condone.
"On behalf of Canfield Middle School, I offer my apology for anyone that is offended by this content in the yearbook," Lilyquist wrote in the email. "Again, please know there was absolutely no intent to truly condone violent behavior; rather, the yearbook staff was going with the mystery theme."
Coeur d'Alene School District Scott Maben sent KREM 2 the following statement:
The Canfield Middle School yearbook distributed to students this week included several pages that reference crime, including murder. The yearbook staff chose a “Top Secret” theme for the yearbook template that included crime and detective work. On several pages, students were asked questions such as “Why would you get arrested,” “If you were to go to jail what would you be going for?” and “What crime would you commit and what weapon would you use?”
This content clearly is inappropriate for a school yearbook, and the District deeply regrets that the yearbook was published with this material. Canfield Principal Nick Lilyquist notified parents of this Thursday night. “Unfortunately, some of the pages reference violence, which we absolutely do not condone in our building and district. On behalf of Canfield Middle School, I offer my apology for anyone that is offended by any content in the yearbook. Again, please know there was absolutely no intent to truly condone violent behavior; rather, they were going with the mystery theme.”
The school will immediately offer full refunds to any family requesting one. In addition, we will contact the yearbook publisher to see what it would take to republish the yearbook without the offensive material. In addition, the District will review the procedures schools follow to approve yearbook content prior to publication.