Yearbooks can be a fun tradition for a graduating class to cap off their school year. Filled with photos of school events and well-wishes from classmates, it makes for a nice keepsake down the line to remember your school days.
Recently, one elementary school gave out yearbooks to all their students—but it turned out, that didn’t mean everyone was included.
When Mike McCarthy, from Lake Stevens, Washington, saw his 10-year-old daughter return home with her Cascade View Elementary yearbook in hand June 13, he must’ve been excited to see his little girl’s picture printed inside—but instead, she was nowhere to be found.
His daughter is autistic—and none of the school’s special needs students were in the yearbook.
McCarthy was upset by the omission—the elementary school’s 14 special needs kids were left out—not included with their peers.
When he expressed his frustrations on Facebook, he realized this was a common problem—and one that wasn’t being properly addressed.
“On my Facebook feed alone, when I put this up in discussions on how other people would feel about this … there were other parents with kids with special needs saying they just accept the fact that their kid’s [photo is] missing,” he told KING5.
“And for me that’s not acceptable.”
So he called the school’s administration to complain—and got a surprising response: they immediately addressed his concerns and worked to correct the problem.
“Within 24 hours I got a call back from everyone, including the principal,” McCarthy said.
The dad was thrilled—especially when the school district announced the stunning way they would correct the problem:
They agreed to reprint all the yearbooks with all the students included!
The revised yearbooks will have all the special needs students’ photos included, and will be shipped free-of-charge to all families in July.
It’s no small gesture, either: the new books will cost the district $1,528.13. But the district knew it was the right thing to do, and taking corrective measures for their mistake is worth the financial cost.
“As a district and school, this is our learning [moment],” Snohomish School District Communication Director Kristin Foley said.
“[In the future] we will review the yearbook to ensure that no individual students who have had photos taken are inadvertently left out.”
It’s an inspiring story of someone making their voice heard, and an administration addressing a parent’s concerns and making a long-term change.
McCarthy couldn’t be happier with the turnout:
“The school did a fabulous job,” he told KING5. “They really told me with their actions how important these kids are to them.”