A Chicago high school was forced to reprint their yearbook for a whopping $53,000 after staff found pictures of several students making a hand gesture associated with racism.
Administrators of Oak Park River Forest High School notified parents of the pictures this week, adding they have chosen to therefore not release this version of the yearbook. Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams wrote:
We’ve been made aware that this year’s ‘Tabula’ yearbook, which has not yet been distributed, contains several photos of students making a hand gesture that has different meanings.
In some cases, it’s used in what is known as the circle game. However, the gesture has more recently become associated with white nationalism.
Regardless of intent, the potential negative impact of this gesture has led us to decide that we cannot distribute the yearbook as is.
While the gesture, similar to the 'OK' sign but used upside down, has previously been associated with a "made-you-look" circle game, it has now been adopted by far-right racists groups to advocate for "white power". According to HuffingtonPost, the racist adaptation of this sign began on 4chan, a platform used often by racist extremists and trolls.
While the intent of the students remains unclear, the school still felt strongly enough about the content that they will pay a yearbook production company $53,794 to reprint the books which will now only be made available in mid-June, according to the Chicago Tribune.