November 27, 2020
Acknowledging Your Mistakes In A Publication
Although it may not happen as a recurring theme, every advisor goes through it at some point: you’ve handed out all the copies of your yearbook, and the calls (and texts, and emails) start coming in.
“_____’s name is spelled wrong”
“My child is missing from the football page”
“You used the original portrait when we had retakes done”
Adding a disclaimer to the beginning of your yearbook announces, and effectively reminds everyone that this was a year-long project put together by hard working students, and mistakes are bound to happen.
From incorrectly labelled portraits, to spelling errors, to omitting an important event/team/club, every yearbook has mistakes. No matter how many times you review the pages, they’re sure to pop up – you’ll find them in any publication. Both the colophon and the disclaimer inform parents, other students, and staff how the yearbook comes together. Like any enormous project made by a multitude of students, a small misstep here and there is to be expected.
Why is this so important right now? As restrictions fluctuate according to risk factors and regional health concerns, the photography at the beginning of the school year may look very different to the photos you take in April. Because of this, and a variety of other factors, it is never a bad idea to include a disclaimer at the beginning of your yearbook. This reminds viewers that any photography scenes that do not meet current health and safety practices was likely shot under different circumstances and guidelines.
So, while your students have done their absolute best – no publication is perfect – and it’s never a bad idea to include a disclaimer!
Here is sample language for a yearbook disclaimer dealing with the content and COVID 19 protocols. Please note, this does not constitute legal advice, we recommend you check with your school or school board on all legal language and requirements.
The YEARBOOK NAME is a student-made publication of SCHOOL/ASSOCIATION NAME. The publication is produced entirely by students (henceforth known as “Staff”) under the supervision of a Staff Adviser in a CLASS / CLUB learning environment. Pictures, interviews, quotes, and statistical data were gathered by the Staff and submitted by the SCHOOL/ASSOCIATION NAME community over the course of the YEAR school year before, during and after school hours. Content gathered by Staff was done while adhering to the health and safety guidelines outlined by both SCHOOL NAME and SCHOOL DISTRICT NAME at the time of capture. Content from the SCHOOL/ASSOCIATION NAME community was submitted via email, shareable drive or image sharing app; although all community members are encouraged to follow health and safety guidelines at the time of capture, some images may contain individuals without masks or less than recommended social distancing. The Staff is responsible for layout/design, copy writing, caption writing as well as overall editing of the publication.
Every effort is made to ensure the YEARBOOK NAME is holistic, objective, and accurate. Although the publication is thoroughly proofread and edited, we sincerely apologize for any omissions, misspellings, misattributes or other mistakes that occurred during this educational editorial process.