A high school in Rancho Cucamonga has apologized after mistakenly naming a hijab-wearing 11th grade devout Muslim student “Isis Phillips” in its yearbook.
“We are extremely sorry for what occurred in the Yearbook. … It is our fault and this is absolutely inexcusable on our part,” Los Osos High School wrote on their social media account:
— LOHS Yearbook (@LosOsosYearbook) May 7, 2016
Bayan Zehlif, who says she is Palestinian on social media, posted a response to the incident on her Facebook page Saturday expressing her belief that the mistake was intentional. “I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this,” Zehlif wrote. “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.”
I guess I’m Isis in the yearbook… pic.twitter.com/hMc0dVu8dM
— βΔΨΔΠ (@BayanZehlif) May 7, 2016
According to local ABC News affiliate in Los Angeles, one of the students who worked on the yearbook said a student named Isis Phillips actually transferred into Los Osos High earlier in the year.
The Chaffey Joint Union High School District reportedly noted in a statement that they “are investigating to figure how this happened and we are certainly sensitive to the young lady. We have been in contact with the family and will continue to work with them to determine how this could happen and how we can remedy the situation.”
The school’s principal, Susan Petrocelli, also apologized:
LOHS is taking every step possible to correct & investigate a regrettable misprint discovered in the yearbook. We sincerely apologize.
— Susan Petrocelli (@LosOsosHigh) May 8, 2016
On social media, some of Zehlif’s friends offered their support:
— Bara’a Khalil (@barahakhalil) May 7, 2016
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is also involved with the incident. CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush reportedly issued a statement on Sunday and called for a thorough investigation into the incident:
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. No student should have to face the humiliation of being associated with a group as reprehensible as ISIS.
The Rancho Cucamonga-based high school is about 20 miles away from San Bernardino, where two radical Islamic terrorists opened fire on a company holiday party, killing 14 and injuring 22 people, this past December.
Just minutes away from San Bernardino, in Fontana, a public high school chose a devout Muslim young lady as its prom queen this month.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz