The Yearbook Quote Controversy

It is no secret that there have been some recent issues involving high-school senior yearbook quotes in not just Wake County but all over the United States. With inappropriate and offensive quotes – ranging from racist, sexist, or sexual remarks – parents and schools are obviously not thrilled by these insensitive quotes and the apparent lack of a yearbook-quote review process. This has resulted in our own Apex High yearbooks to no longer contain senior quotes, beginning this year with the class of 2018. As a member of the class, I have witnessed firsthand the disappointment and frustration being felt by this year’s seniors as they come to grip with the reality that they will not be able to express themselves via a funny or impactful quote under their picture in the yearbook. After all, some of them have been pondering what their senior yearbook quote would be for years now, working to devise the perfect quote or  searching for a great one said by somebody else, and none of that even matters now that our Apex High yearbooks will be senior quote-less.

I had a chance to speak with Mrs. Nobles, the Yearbook advisor, and ask a few questions about the removal of the senior quotes and her opinion on the subject. She explained that, despite what some our seniors might think, the school has valid reasons to remove senior quotes, and they are not to ruin the fun of having an interesting quote under your name in the yearbook. After all of the controversy surrounding inappropriate yearbook quotes, even at nearby schools in the county, Apex High decided to eliminate any chance of a similar situation happening that might affect our school’s or Wake County’s reputation. Mrs. Nobles shared her concerns that, although she can usually catch any subtly inappropriate senior quote, there will eventually be a time when one slips under the radar.  Mrs. Nobles also explained that another reason for taking away the quotes was to save more room in the yearbook. This year’s yearbook will have to be a certain amount of pages shorter than before due to the smaller class size, so removing the senior quotes will allow more senior pictures to fit on one page, allowing more pages to be open for other essential things in the yearbook. When asked if she agrees with the school’s decision to take away senior quotes, Mrs. Nobles said that she does agree because it is the safest bet, and it relieves her of the stress of possibly letting a vulgar senior quote slip by the review process.

Although these are all valid reasons for omitting senior quotes, almost everyone else in the class of 2018, including myself, feel that senior quotes are a vital and unique aspect of a high school yearbook that should not be left out. I am aware that yearbook quotes are not an age-old thing that have been going on since yearbooks first began, but that does not mean we should just forget about them now! If there is not enough space in the yearbooks for senior quotes, we should consider removing parts of the yearbook that students are not as interested in. Also, if we were to bring back yearbook quotes, we would definitely need to make sure that all quotes are reviewed, possibly by multiple different people, before being put in the yearbook, for obvious reasons. After all, we do not need another yearbook quote mishap. I understand that senior quotes may not be the most practical part of the yearbook, but I cannot help but feel that a high-school yearbook is not complete without senior quotes.

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