Nebo School District officials have been working to ease tensions after Maple Mountain High School printed a yearbook spread using derogatory words to describe its inner-district rival, Springville High School.
The page is a word cloud shaped like Springville High School’s logo — a stylized S, with a devil face inside — and titled “Describe Springville.” The page characterizes Springville as, among other things, “ghetto,” “lame,” “stupid” and “satanic.”
Maple Mountain High School is in Spanish Fork, and Springville High School is in Springville, about 4 miles away.
The school district first posted about the yearbook page on its Twitter just after 10 p.m. Friday, saying it was looking into the issue.
“We never condone negative behavior of any kind,” the tweet said.
By Saturday morning, Maple Mountain High School administrators had apologized to Springville students, saying the yearbook page doesn’t reflect how students feel about Springville High School, according to a letter posted to Nebo School District’s Facebook page.
“We acknowledge and accept responsibility for our mistake. We are taking action to resolve the situation and to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen in the future,” the post read.
Springville High School’s principal, Everett Kelepolo shared that letter with its student body, calling the yearbook page an “unfortunate mistake.”
Kelepolo said he was grateful for the relationship his school has with Maple Mountain High School and hoped the two schools could move forward.
On Saturday night, a Maple Mountain sophomore and a member of the yearbook staff told The Salt Lake Tribune in an email that she wanted to apologize for the “hateful logo.”
“When I first saw the logo I was stunned, hurt, and angry,” Emma Huntington wrote. “I know your school and you are the complete opposite of the words on the logo. You are strong, kind, loving, helpful, fun, responsible, and so much more and I am honored to know you.
“... I know we are all hurt, but the ugly feelings expressed by the few at fault should not be our example.”
Huntington said she hoped the schools could learn from the incident and move forward in unity.
“We have a great reputation in this area of love, respect, and greatness. I hope this one mistake will not erase this."
A Nebo School District spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to The Salt Lake Tribune’s request for comment.