A libertarian high school senior who was excluded from the annual yearbook was shocked to find a picture of Karl Marx included instead. The Principal has apologized for the exclusion, which the student believes was based on his political activism.
According to a report by 770 KTTH radio, Aryeh Rohde of Clinton, Washington, was shocked to learn that his senior photo was excluded from the South Whidbey High School’s annual yearbook. Rohde was shocked again when he realized that a photo of Karl Marx included towards the end of the yearbook.
Rohde, an outspoken conservative, claims that he has been harassed for expressing his political beliefs at school. “I was like, ‘you know, it could just be a mistake,’” Rohde said during an interview with conservative radio host Jason Rantz. “You know it happens. I’m not the only one not pictured in the senior grade. But then, flipping further, about page 99 in our yearbook, and the bottom right corner there’s a picture of Karl Marx. You know the father of communism!”
Rohde claims that the Karl Marx photo may have been placed in the yearbook to mock his outspoken conservative activism. “It wouldn’t be very surprising to me at all…” Rohde said. “[Those students] have been harassing me, my friends, and my girlfriend for about over two years now because of my political activism. And one of them is a senior. He did the senior page and he’s in Social Justice Club.”
Despite the backlash, Rohde said that he is proud of all of the activism that he is engaged in during his high school career, along with athletic accomplishments.
I was actually just thinking about this the other day, I’m a wrestler. I’ve wrestled my entire life and my sophomore year I had to make a huge weight cut. I had to cut thirty two pounds and I only had two weeks to do it and I had no obligation to do it. I wasn’t forced to do it but I made that decision by myself. So, you know, to better myself knowing how far I can go and knowing it would put me in a better position to move on. And I always kind of think about that, comparing it to my politics because I always kind of just throw myself right in the middle of the hot pan, always trying to… start up conversations, seeing what other people’s beliefs are.
John Patton, the principal of South Whidbey High School, sent an apology email to the entire school over the mistake of leaving Rohde out of the yearbook. At this point, the school has no plans to reprint the yearbook.