Utah family turns other cheek after child with Down syndome excluded from yearbook photo

Utah family turns other cheek after child with Down syndome excluded from yearbook photo
Yearbook photo (Image via LU Staff)

For Adolph Hitler it was dreams of a blond-haired, blue-eyed “master race” that prompted him to order the systematic extermination of six million Jews and other “inferior” peoples. For Shoreline Junior High School in Layton, Utah, the “final solution” for 14-year-old Morgyn Arnold wasn’t quite as extreme, though no doubt her and her family’s pain are real.

When copies of the 2020-21 yearbook came out recently, the Arnold family was shocked and dismayed to find that Morgyn — who has Down syndrome — had been omitted from the team photo of the school’s cheerleading squad, of which Morgyn had been a proud member. (RELATED: NBC reporter calls columnist who defends aborting children with Down syndrome ‘courageous’)

Morgyn “was devastated,” her sister, Jordyn, told a Salt Lake City Fox affiliate. Poll told FOX 13. “Those girls were so kind to her during the year. Those girls on the squad were her friends — they ARE her friends… For her to not be included when all was said and done was devastating.”

The school issued a statement insisting it had all been a terrible mistake:

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We are deeply saddened by the mistake that was made that omitted a student photo out of the yearbook. Apologies have been made to the family and we sincerely apologize to all others impacted by this error. We are continuing to look at what has occurred, and to improve our practice.

But the claim that the omission was erroneous is challenged by a Facebook post showing that at least two shots of the team were taken, one that included Morgyn and one that didn’t. One excluding her was chosen for publication.”

Now you see her… (Image via Twitter)
… now you don’t. (Image via Twitter)

The really remarkable part of the story resides in the family’s reaction to the whole incident. Jordyn Poll told reporters:

My family is choosing to follow Morgyn’s example of forgiving… of loving those girls still and just learning from this experience so that we can be better — that we can move forward and we can learn to be a better advocate — not only for Morgyn, but for those other students at that school and in our communities. To the parents and the girls on the team — from the bottom of my heart, you are amazing and we love you. We are grateful for you & grateful for the way you’ve respected our sweet Morgyn.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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