Yearbook time is always exciting at school. You can’t wait to open it up, to see your picture and the pictures of your friends, to get everyone to sign it for you.

Students at Black Mountain Middle School, however, found their joy at getting their yearbooks this year to be short-lived. 

As soon as they got them, they had to give them back to their teachers.


Well, the yearbook club decided a nice vintage map of the area would make for a classy cover.

And it seemed like a good idea — the books came back looking great.

Except for one thing: the n-word front and center. 

You see, it turns out that a freed slave moved into the area after the Civil War. This slave built a home on Palomar Mountain in San Diego Country. And people, being racist, just went ahead and gave that whole area a name that featured the word n*gger.

“We were upset to find that that had made it on the cover of the yearbook,” Christine Paik, communications director for Black Mountain’s school district told CNN.

Once the word was noticed, the school swiftly collected all the yearbooks it had handed out.

Teachers then worked together to remove the word from each of the nearly 1,000 yearbooks that had been ordered by hand.

The school’s principal, Charan Kirpalani, sent a letter home to parents explaining what happened.

“This was an unfortunate, inadvertent mistake on the part of our yearbook staff and our yearbook advisor,” Paik said.

Parents that spoke with CNN accepted Paik and Kirpalani’s apologies, “It’s unfortunate that it happened,” one father said, “Sounds like the district is taking right measures to get it fixed.”

Students will receive the amended yearbooks later this week, the accidental racial incident just one more school days memory.