Anti-Trump comment in high school yearbook stirs Brainerd

When the kids at Brainerd High School in central Minnesota voted in a mock election last November, Donald Trump crushed Hillary Clinton.

So the reaction this week to a comment in the high school yearbook shouldn’t be at all surprising.

“I would like to behead him, I do not like him,” the caption beneath the picture of a sophomore said. It was posted on Facebook.

Let’s go over the obvious questions:

  1. What were they thinking when they thought a page on what students thought about Donald Trump was yearbook-caliber content?
  2. What was the student thinking with the answer?
  3. What was the yearbook staff thinking when they pasted up the proof for the yearbook?
  4. What was the advisor thinking when it was approved for final printing?
  5. Why doesn’t a survey on who the students favorite teacher was doesn’t cut it anymore?

The school district issued a statement saying it’s investigating.

The Administration of Brainerd Public Schools has been notified that the 2016-2017 high school yearbook contains highly disrespectful statements from students about political figures, including the President of the United States. The Administration was previously unaware of the students’ statements in the yearbook.

The District does not support or otherwise endorse any disrespectful or politically based statements that are in the yearbook and apologizes for the statements that were included. While the District supports Free Speech, the disrespectful statements in the yearbook are contrary to the basic educational mission of the District and should not have been included in a school sponsored publication.

The Administration is currently investigating how this occurred and is reviewing the District’s processes to ensure that this type of unacceptable situation does not occur in the future.

The Administration deeply regrets that the existing processes for reviewing the yearbook did not result in the removal of the inappropriate statements.

(h/t: Cody Nelson)

  • Gary F
  • Dan

    There are extremely limited circumstances where “I would like to behead him” is an appropriate response, and none that I can think of off-hand. Giving your opinion on a politician is certainly not one of them.

  • Mike Worcester

    I’m baffled that *any* adult in the room felt this was appropriate.

    My guess — there will be a yearbook advisor, and possibly others, relieved of their duties at some point.

    • John O.

      And should be.

  • Jerry

    This just in: teenagers make poor deciscions.

    Although that doesn’t excuse the adults in the story.

    This story got a signal boost from Scott Baio. Doesn’t Chachi have better things to do with his time?

    Oh wait.

  • Jacob C

    It is unfortunate that a small group of students and poor oversight by not just the yearbook adviser, but from the school administration too, has blighted an entire community. Neither the community, nor the student body were appropriately represented in this one-sided and inappropriate yearbook piece, judging by how Crow Wing County voted in the last election or how the students voted in the mock election.

  • Dan

    Seems this spread due to Scott Baio. Another example of how the right doesn’t think celebrity opinion matters until they go Full Nugent.

    Also note Baio isn’t the one who blurred the picture and name. A high school sophomore. Keep it classy Scott. I’m sure he’s tickled at the idea of what 4chan will subject her to.

    • I blurred the face.

      KSTP got it long before Baio did.

      • Dan

        And maybe 4chan had it going around before either of them.

        Still, the way you posted it is Ok, the way he did is not.

  • lindblomeagles

    I detect some hypocrisy, precedent, and adult interference in this Brainerd Year Book incident. First, some parents complained because THEY are more into Trump than their teenagers are. Their teenagers still have perhaps a decade or more to cement their political beliefs in stone. The parents have already passed that stage. Second, had the student directed her “beheaded comment” towards President Obama, wild guess here, the Brainerd “Trump” parents wouldn’t have complained. They would pat themselves on the back declaring VICTORY for the First Amendment. Third, the one bad thing this student did was copy what adult writers often place on Facebook — slurs and intimidation when people don’t agree with you. But she’s a teenager. SHE CAN BE TAUGHT how to express her frustration without slurs and physical violence. The Year Book editor could have easily helped her craft her message better. But, there isn’t really anything wrong with the Year Book taking a poll of the Trump election four months into his first term. THE PRESS HAS SAID TRUMP’S ELECTION IS HISTORIC. If we all believe that, then THIS IS A MOMENT FOR THIS GENERATION TO REFLECT UPON. Put it this way, when Adolf Hitler rose to power in the 1930s, I’m pretty confident that generation REMEMBERED the moment particularly since many of them went to fight World War II as 20 something year olds. If the media has lied about the significance of Trump’s campaign, then the media owes us an explanation, not the school.

    • It was a stupid thing to say. A stupid thing to consider part of the yearbook. A stupid thing to print.

      I get that people don’t like Trump but at some point, it’s not toxic to acknowledge the inappropriateness of it all .

      It was stupid. by just acknowledging that, people acknowledge that their moral certainty isn’t completely determined by whether a scenario involves their guy or the other guy.

      It was just stupid. Period.

      • John O.

        I put this squarely on the Yearbook Advisor. I did the HS newspaper and yearbook gig way-back-when and there is no way in the world (our advisor) Mike DeVoe would have EVER let ANYTHING political get in–even if the editors had okayed it. Period.

      • lindblomeagles

        If Trump is impeached by Christmas, as I mentioned, it will definitely be a historic event, one, I’m sure, a lot of current high school students will remember.

  • AL287

    “I know you think you understood what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

    I believe this about sums up everything that has happened since Trump was nominated and elected including the clumsy attempts by his press secretaries to cover his sorry rump.

    Judging from the Republican town halls with their constituents, the Republicans know they have to get the revocation of Obamacare done and passed as law before the next midterm elections.

    I did an informal breakdown of the the mock election numbers. On average 20-25% of the students voted for other candidates besides Trump or Clinton. Independents are the voters who swing an election, not Democrats or Republicans.

    They are not as “stupid” as it appears on the surface and about half of them will be eligible voters come 2020 and a large number of them for the midterm elections.

    This story is one of the main reasons I don’t “do” Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks.

    If you’re going to say it to me, for God’s sake, be a mature adult and say it to my face.