High school misidentifies Muslim student as "Isis" in yearbook

Officials at Los Osos High School have apologized for the incident.

Justin Carissimo
Monday 09 May 2016 01:58
Los Osos High School has apologized for misnaming the student.
Los Osos High School has apologized for misnaming the student.

A California high school has apologized after misidentifying a Muslim student as “Isis Phillips” in the school yearbook.

Bayan Zehlif, a senior at Los Osos High School, responded to the school’s apology on Saturday and shared an image of the yearbook caption on social media.

“I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this,” Zehlif wrote on Facebook. “Apparently I am ‘Isis’ in the yearbook. The school reached out to me and had the audacity to say that this was a typo. I beg to differ, let's be real.”

Mat Holton, the superintendent of Chaffey Joint Union High School District, 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.”

The yearbook was distributed to 287 seniors at the high school, and officials have halted further printing to fix the error.

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 American-Islamic Relations said that school officials will meet with leader’s of the advocacy group on Monday.

“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,” Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR’s Los Angeles chapter, said in a statement. “No student should have to face the humiliation of being associated with a group as reprehensible as Isis."