Errors kill Kauai yearbook but uproar might revive it
PUHI, Kauai » While students and parents around the state prepared for summer last week, some students at a Kauai middle school were crying because they had not received their yearbooks.
Parents and students at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School planned a protest on the last day of school Thursday because of the destruction of their yearbooks -- by their principal.
But with the help of a local company, no protest was held and Chiefess' sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders might have a chance to get their books filled with school memories after all.
Debra Badua, the principal at the middle school, said last week that the yearbooks, which take months to prepare, arrived with "errors so substantial as to detract from the quality of the publication."
Grammatical mistakes, wrong identifications and spelling errors were so numerous, she said in an e-mail, that Badua, and Kauai Complex Superintendent Daniel Hamada, decided not to distribute them.
"The quality of the yearbook was not representative of an institution of public education," Badua added.
A letter was sent home May 24 informing parents of the decision.
But what really irked parents was that the next day a local newspaper reported the mementos were destroyed, without any input from the school community.
"Some kids (and even some parents) were crying when they didn't get their yearbooks," said Chiefess parent Paul Curtis. "I feel bad for the eighth-graders" as it's their last year at the school.
Parents wrote letters to state agencies and to the local newspaper and called local radio shows voicing their anger over the principal's decision, which erased months of work for the yearbook staff.
Many said they didn't care about the errors -- they just wanted the memories.
But Badua said administration officials, along with volunteer parents and students, are trying to work out a solution.
Grove Farm Land Co., the land developer for much of the town of Puhi, has pitched in with $2,500 to help defray any costs, Badua added.
While plans are not yet finalized, Badua said she hopes to notify parents and students within the next few weeks if the yearbooks can be reprinted.