Muslim teen labelled ‘ISIS’ in school yearbook

27th May 2016
Muslim teen labelled ‘ISIS’ in school yearbook

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Californian Muslim student has spoken of her “disgust” and “hurt” after discovering her yearbook photo was captioned with the name “Isis Phillips”.Bayan Zehlif was taken aback when she looked in her high school yearbook.

“I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this,” wrote the Year 12 student on Facebook. The school told Zehlif that the incident was a typo and a student named Isis Phillips was previously enrolled during the current academic year but has since transferred.

“I beg to differ, let’s be real,” said Zehlif, who posted a picture of the offending yearbook photo and name on Twitter.
All 27 comments on her post have been in her defense, with users writing that they are “so completely appalled” and “this is so beyond disgusting”.

Superintendent of Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Mat Holton, said Zehlif was incorrectly identified as another student. He also said that both families have been contacted and the school will investigate the yearbook staff.

“If they find that a student acted irresponsibly and intentionally, administration will take appropriate actions,” Holton told the Los Angeles Times. “The school will assure students, staff and the community that this regrettable incident in no way represents the values, or beliefs, of Los Osos High School.”

Susan Petrocelli, the school’s principal, offered an apology, and also characterized the incident as a misprint.
“LOHS is taking every step possible to correct & investigate a regrettable misprint discovered in the yearbook,” Petrocelli wrote on Twitter. “We sincerely apologize.”

The Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that “it’s unlikely” that Zehlif will return to class “until the issue is resolved appropriately.”

“We join with the family in their concern about a possible bias motive for this incident and in the deep concern for their daughter’s safety as a result of being falsely labeled as a member of a terrorist group,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said. CAIR called for a “thorough investigation” of the incident.

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