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A Chicago high school is spending $53,794 to reprint its 2018-19 yearbooks after staff discovered photos of students making a hand gesture associated with white nationalism.
Administrators at Oak Park and River Forest High School decided to halt distribution of the original 1,750 copies after finding 18 photos featuring students making an upside-down OK sign often used by far-right groups.
Students - Races - Ethnicities - Genders - Grades
Students of 'various races, ethnicities, genders and grades' flashed the symbol, schools chief Joylynn Pruitt-Adams told parents, students and staff in an e-mail on Monday seen by the Chicago Sun Times.
'The photos in question, as well as other club/team photos in which students are striking poses and making gestures, will be replaced with straight-forward group shots,' Pruitt-Adams wrote about the 'Tabula' yearbook.
Stickers - Photos - Solution - Attention - Groups
'While putting stickers over the photos would be a cheaper solution, it would draw attention to particular groups of students and place a cloud of suspicion over all the students in those photos, regardless of whether they used the sign or not,' she said.
The hand gesture has at times been used in the harmless 'circle game,' in which pranksters make a circle with their fingers and hold it below their waist. If a second person looks at it, the first playfully punches them.
Sign - Movement
But recently the sign has become associated with the white supremacist movement.
The upside-down OK sign was circulated as a hoax by users of the shadowy website 4chan to falsely promote white supremacy in 2017, but recently white supremacists have started using it as an authentic hate symbol, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Gesture - Letter - Middle - Fingers - 'P
The gesture is said to depict the letter 'W' with the outstretched middle, ring and little fingers, and a 'P' with the circle made by the thumb and forefinger stretching down to the wrist. Together the letters stand for 'white...
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