Superintendent Dana Bedden said he has reviewed the senior pages that list students' photographs along with fake criminal charges in the format of The Jail Report , a local publication that displays charges and mug shots of recently booked individuals. The annual also labeled some students as most likely to become porn stars and exotic dancers.
Bedden said in a statement Wednesday that the content "created discomfort and disappointment" for parents, and showed that the students had little guidance or supervision when compiling the yearbook.
"We will continue to work to find out at what level the lack of supervision occurred," he said in the statement. "The administration will address any personnel deficiencies with the appropriate action and take the necessary steps to clearly articulate the school system's expectations."
Last week, Principal Wayne Frazier said a committee of teachers and parents review yearbook content before it's published. Glenn Hills High teacher Alice Hickman heads that committee, but could not be reached.
The yearbook content and media coverage have shed a negative light on students who have significant accomplishments, said Gracie Rolax, whose daughter, Turquoise Rolax, is featured in the mock-jail report. Her daughter will attend University of South Carolina Aiken this fall.
"I'm not sure who oversees this, but I must admit the porn star thing really rubbed me the wrong way," she said.
The students and Frazier suffered from the publication's contents becoming public, Rolax said. Though more supervision is needed, she said the principal should not be held accountable for the oversight.
"I can only commend him for the changes he's made at the school," Rolax said. "As many areas as he has tried to gain control over, I think this is just one area he hasn't. He can't do it all in one year."
Tanga Fitts agreed. Her son Terrell Fitts, who will attend South Carolina State University this fall, is also featured in the section. She said the senior section was harmless. Students, teachers and Frazier should not be penalized because of it, she said.
"The name could have been changed, but I think it's been blown way out of proportion," Fitts said. "If you look back, there are plenty of silly things in yearbooks past."