‘Heartbroken’: Yearbook mistake involving cheerleader with Down syndrome under scrutiny

West

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (KTVX) — A Facebook post about a junior high school yearbook mistake is going viral.

In the post, a Utah woman says her sister has Down syndrome and is on the cheer team – but was left out of the cheerleaders’ group photo. The school district is now looking into the situation and the family is hopeful this will bring lasting change.

“My heart was broken that a child would have to see that she was not included with her friends,” Jordyn Poll told NewsNation affiliate KTVX Tuesday afternoon.

Poll says her sister Morgyn Arnold is a part of the Shoreline Junior High School cheer team. Something, Poll explained, that took a lot of work to achieve. “Morgyn loves deeply, and Morgyn gives her heart to everything she does,” Poll added.

Poll said when the school’s yearbook came out, her sister Morgyn showed her the cheer team page. Morgyn isn’t on the page with her teammates, but it’s not because she missed picture day.

Two photos were taken. One picture included Morgyn and the other did not. However, Poll said that the picture without her sister is the one that made the school’s social media posts as well as the yearbook. She said her sister was heartbroken.

Poll said this is the second time Morgyn has been left out of the yearbook.

A spokesperson for the Davis School District said officials are working to remedy the problem. “I don’t think anybody had ill intent in this,” Shauna Lund said. “It was just a mistake that was made and we’re trying to figure out why that mistake was made.”

Lund said the district is working with the teachers involved to get to the center of the mistake and added the administration is also working with Morgyn’s parents.

Poll says her family believes the school will do better. She added: “We love Shoreline Junior High. We love the [sic] opportunity they have given to Morgyn. We love the administration and we are pleased that they are taking this seriously.”

Poll emphasized many times that the family is not mad and does not want to shame the school for the mistake. She said right now, they are following Morgyn’s example.

“Morgyn, when asked how she felt, said she loves those girls,” Poll said. “They are her friends and she has forgiven them.”

She said with the attention her Facebook post is getting, she hopes positive change will happen at the school. The post has been shared thousands of times and Poll said they heard of it reaching someone in Scotland.

Lund said the district also hopes to see positive change, adding, “We want all of our students to feel like they’re included, and part of our schools, and it’s a good experience for them.”

“We are excited for the change that’s coming,” Poll stated. “We are excited to continue to advocate for both Morgyn and other students.”

Poll said her family does believe this was just a mistake and is grateful for the district’s willingness to work with them as well as all the support they are getting from the community.

Lund said the district will continue to work with Morgyn’s parents to make sure something like this never happens again. The district also released a formal statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the mistake that was made. We are continuing to look at what has occurred and why it occurred. Apologies have been made to the family and we sincerely apologize to others impacted by this error. We will continue to address it with the parents of the student. We will continue to look at our processes to ensure this does not happen again.”

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