Richton student suspended after sneaking racist message into yearbook

RICHTON, MS (WDAM) - Yearbooks are supposed to be filled with cherished memories, but for some Richton High School parents and students this year's annual is one they don't want to remember.

A message was found in the "Senior Will" section of the "For Real" annual soon after the books were published. To the naked eye, it looks like any other message, but students say the first letter in each of the foods spells out a racist statement.

The message reads, "I leave my hope of getting food improvements like ham, applesauce, turkey, eggs, nachos, icees, grapes, grits, enchiladas, ravioli, and salmon in our cafeteria to who ever has to eat our cafeteria food."

Keshia Bolton said her daughter, who is in the 11th grade, was furious over the message.

"He can put what he wants," said Bolten. "But to say something racist, you know that's a racist statement, so no he shouldn't have been able to put that in there."

Superintendent Kyle Nobles would not identify the student, but he said the student told others, including school officials, that his message stood for something else.

"We wouldn't have known had the student not told us what was in the message," said Nobles.

The student has been suspended and will not participate in graduation ceremonies. Nobles said the student's actions have put the whole city in a bad light.

"I know that this is going to reflect poorly on the town of Richton," said Nobles. "We have great students, a great community, and I'm sure there's racism everywhere - but there's as little racism in Richton as there is anywhere."

Two-hundred-and-twenty year books were published, and the company is sending stickers for students who want to cover that message, but the damage may already be done.

Nobles said the district is taking steps to make sure this never happens again.

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