Yearbook labels some students as 'Clueless' and 'Empty Box'

Yearbook Controversy

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - The 2012 yearbook for S.P. Arnett Middle School in Westlake, La. names some students as "Clueless" or "Empty Box" among other students named for "Most Athletic" and "Whitest Smile."

A friendly yearbook tradition maybe gone too far according to parents who expressed their views on the matter.

Calcasieu Parish School Board member Fredman Hardy represents District 2 which covers the Westlake area where Arnett Middle is located. He said in this case it's "a sense of humor misplaced."

"We all like to be liked," Hardy said. "Some people will say oh I don't care if they like me, but you can see from the events of bullying, children, adults, grandmothers, we all like to be liked."

And many concerned parents said this labeling of students as "Clueless" and "Empty Box" doesn't put the student in a positive light, like other superlatives would, and it's just another act of bullying.

"I don't think anyone meant to demean those children, but I think it was a case where an adult could have spotted this and said, "Later on this child is going to look back and say, "I'm an empty box?" So those sort of demeaning things probably started in good humor, but it did not end that way," Hardy said of the yearbook labels.

But whether it's a funny picture or a comment made on the school grounds, on the Internet or even in the yearbook, Hardy said it's something that's unacceptable and will be addressed.

"I just wish they would have had some sort of committee at the school to review the yearbooks before they went out and looked for this type of misdirected humor that we have here," he said.

Hardy said the issue will be brought up to the Calcasieu Parish Superintendent of Schools at the next school board meeting.

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