Yearbook Cover’s Hidden Obscenity Causes Stir In Ohio

Outgoing high school senior forced to apologize after hiding F-bomb in illustration.

Well, at least now the Shaker Heights High School class of 2009 has something to talk about at the reunion. Students at the Shaker Heights, Ohio, school got more than just some senior superlatives when they picked up their copies of their 2008-2009 “Raider Nation” yearbook: They got a well-hidden F-bomb.

The cover of the yearbook, which was illustrated by an outgoing senior, contained a concealed message that could only be read if the book was turned upside down: “F— All Y’All.”

Of course, the message became the talk of Shaker Heights, and when principal Michael D. Griffith found out, he ordered the school to stop issuing yearbooks, because, as he put it, “An obscenity was cleverly concealed in the cover artwork.” He sent home a letter to all parents that included an apology from the student who designed the cover.

“I cannot begin to explain the miserable feeling I brought upon myself, when I betrayed the trust of all of you. I apologize for offending anyone and everyone,” the student’s apology read. “It is unfortunate that I did not recognize the big responsibility and honor given to me when asked to design the cover of the Shaker Heights yearbook. I offer my sincere apologies.”

Griffith had the school’s art department rework the “Raider Nation” cover, and there are now “cosmetically altered” versions of the book. Students can turn in their original copies for a new yearbook, but according to Cleveland’s Fox 8, that might not happen. After all, we’re talking about collector’s items here.

“Thirty years down the road, it’s kinda funny to flip it upside down and be like, ‘Oh, look what’s hidden!’ ” Shaker Heights incoming senior Katie Rownd told the station.

The identity of the student who designed the cover has not been revealed, but according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he’s already become a bit of a local hero. At Shaker’s graduation ceremony last week, he “received the loudest, most sustained applause of any fellow student as he accepted his diploma.”

It’s Class of ’09 Week on MTVNews.com, where we’re celebrating a memorable time in the lives of more than 3 million high school seniors: graduation! We’re rolling out articles and videos with graduation memories from your favorite celebrities and much more. Be sure to upload your own three-minute video for our Class of ’09 Valedictory Search to Your.MTV.com — the winner will be flown to New York for lunch with MTV News’ Sway and will attend a taping of MTV’s new series “It’s On With Alexa Chung.”