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Coeur d'Alene middle school parents getting refunds after controversial yearbook released

The yearbook sparked outrage throughout the community because of its "Top Secret Mystery" theme that included references to crime, murder and prison.
Credit: CDA Press
This is the cover of the controversial yearbook released by Canfield Middle School earlier this month. "Naturally, there were many questions asked and discussions held after the yearbook was published," said Libbi Barrett, Coeur d'Alene School District assistant superintendent of secondary education and curriculum. "The district has protocols in place and will work proactively with all schools to prevent issues of this nature moving forward."

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — About 50 families have requested refunds for the controversial yearbook released by Canfield Middle School earlier this month.

"Checks are being processed now and will be in the mail soon," said Libbi Barrett, assistant superintendent of secondary and curriculum for the Coeur d'Alene School District.

The yearbook sparked outrage throughout the community because of its "Top Secret Mystery" theme that included references to crime, murder and prison. It also labeled eighth-graders as "suspects," seventh-graders as "victims" and sixth-graders as "witnesses,"  as reported by our news partners, the Coeur d'Alene Press.

"Ask yourself, what if this triggered a shooting event?" Coeur d'Alene resident Michael Borozan wrote in a letter to The Press.

In another letter to the editor, Elena Guariento Infante of Hayden called the yearbook outrageous and called for school officials to be fired and the superintendent replaced.

"They should all — staff and students — be forced to go to Uvalde and visit the graves of the dead children and meet with their parents," she wrote. "And view the autopsy photos of the kids! In addition, residents should refuse to pay school taxes if that’s what your money is being used for."

Canfield Principal Nick Lilyquist and the school district issued apologies to those who found the material to be offensive.

Barrett confirmed the district has not been able to print a revised version of the book.

"Naturally, there were many questions asked and discussions held after the yearbook was published," she said. "The district has protocols in place and will work proactively with all schools to prevent issues of this nature moving forward."

She said all yearbook themes will have an approval process in the future.

"The principal immediately addressed this publicly, apologized to families, asserted that Canfield, in no way, condones violence of any nature and offered refunds to all Canfield families," she said. "School systems are in the business of 'growing people,' and we have learned much from this incident."

She said district officials have met to improve and implement protocols in order to prevent any future incidents.

"We have made efforts to rectify the situation and sincerely regret any upset this may have caused," she said.

The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.

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