The Salt Lake City School District on Saturday denounced transphobic comments that were published in the Highland High School yearbook after a Facebook post pointing them out went viral.
Said the student who exposed the transphobic quote: “I am a student at highland high school going into my senior year. Due to the coronavirus our school did not receive its yearbook until today. Shockingly, one of the senior quotes was not as funny as the rest. The quote by Daniel Totzke stated, ‘There are only two genders and a lot of mental illness’. This is a clear attack towards the trans community at Highland. As a member of the the LQBTQ+, this was extremely offensive to me and many of the students at my school. I demand action to be taken against the student and the administrator that made it so hate speech could go into our 2020 year book. The quotes were submitted before COVID started and the yearbook came out late. There is no excuse for this. Please help me make this public so he can face the consequences of his actions.”
The school district released this statement, the Deseret News reports: “Unfortunately, one of the senior quotes in the yearbook included hate speech. Even more unfortunately, this quote was published in spite of the editing protocol in place for the yearbook. This yearbook quote is absolutely unacceptable and in no way reflective of the Salt Lake City School District, the value we place on every student, and the standards we strive to uphold. Let me make it clear that the Salt Lake City School District condemns hate speech in any form. To have something like this included in one of our high school yearbooks is abhorrent. We are committed to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all students, including our LGBTQIA+ community. To our LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized students I say, please know how deeply your teachers, school administrators and district leaders care about you and your well-being.”
The school district plans to investigate how the quote was allowed to be published.