Racist term appears on Rancho Peñasquitos yearbook cover

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 06, 2017

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--Black Mountain Middle School students who received yearbooks with an offensive term about African-Americans will have them replaced, according to the Poway Unified School District.

District Spokesperson Christine Paik said the staff and editors at the Rancho Peñasquitos school inadvertently used a historical map from the 1800's for the cover of the 2016-2017 yearbook.  The map referred to an area of San Diego County which was once known as the home of a freed slave, and used what Paik described as a "very derogatory label."

The area featured on the map is now known as Harrison Canyon and located near Palomar Mountain.

Paik said the district recalled all yearbooks sent to 8th-grade students and would delay the distribution of books to 6th and 7th graders.

The word, which was originally over the "o" in the word "Looking," will be scratched out from all of the yearbooks, Paik said.  

The district said it sent a message to students and families indicating it deeply regretted the error.

"We understand how important the yearbooks are to our students and are working on getting their memories to them.  We are making the correction and will redistribute the yearbooks as soon as possible."

Paik said counselors and district staff are available to discuss the matter with parents and students.