May 19, 2017 10:53 PM
BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) - A central Minnesota school district is investigating - and apologizing - after comments published in a high school yearbook set off a social media firestorm.
One of the comments in the Brainerd High School yearbook appeared on a page about noteworthy events, including the election of President Donald Trump. When students were asked how they feel about Trump, one is quoted as saying, "I would like to behead him. I do not like him."
The 15-year-old girl who made the comment told KSTP she remembers being asked by an acquaintance about her thoughts on the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a casual conversation. She said her response was that she did not like him.
The teen said the acquaintance asked her if that's all she had to say about him. Therefore, she said, she joked that someone should behead him. She said they both laughed about that.
According to the 15-year-old girl, at no point while they were talking did the acquaintance say her questions were for the yearbook. She said she wishes no harm to President Trump and said she is now getting threats.
Actor Scott Baio, a Trump supporter, retweeted an image of the page Friday and tagged Trump, the FBI and others. Within hours, the high school's Facebook page was flooded with angry criticism.
Brainerd Public Schools condemned the comment and says the administration had no prior knowledge of the comments in the yearbook. The school district is investigating the matter and apologizes for the statements made. The school issued this statement:
The Administration of Brainerd Public Schools has been notified that the 2016-2017 high school yearbook contains highly disrespectful statements from students about political figures, including the President of the United States. The Administration was previously unaware of the students’ statements in the yearbook.
The District does not support or otherwise endorse any disrespectful or politically based statements that are in the yearbook and apologizes for the statements that were included. While the District supports Free Speech, the disrespectful statements in the yearbook are contrary to the basic educational mission of the District and should not have been included in a school sponsored publication.
The Administration is currently investigating how this occurred and is reviewing the District’s processes to ensure that this type of unacceptable situation does not occur in the future.
The Administration deeply regrets that the existing processes for reviewing the yearbook did not result in the removal of the inappropriate statements.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated: May 19, 2017 10:53 PM
Created: May 19, 2017 01:33 PM
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.