Andover High School is pulling its yearbook after administrators realized a senior used a Nazi quote as his senior quote, school officials said.
In a letter addressed to the school community, Principal Philip Conrad said on Wednesday the administration was “horrified to learn now that one particular quote, unattributed on the yearbook page itself, is generally attributed to either Adolph [sic] Hitler or Joseph Goebbels about propagating lies and having people believe those lies to be the truth.”
Conrad did not include the quote in his letter.
On Thursday, in response to a request from the Globe, Conrad said the quote was “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
Conrad said they didn’t make the connection until after the yearbook had already been distributed to some students, and “immediately” launched an investigation upon the discovery.
The student had apparently gotten the quote from a source that did not identify its author, Conrad said, and “used it without any knowledge of where it came from or the hateful background with which it is associated.”
“I am satisfied that he sincerely regrets his choice,” Conrad said.
Conrad said he was disappointed with having to retract the yearbook given all the hard work that went into it, and said they will no longer be selling the yearbook until the page is replaced.
Anyone who already bought a yearbook can either pick up a custom-printed sticker or have it sent to them, Conrad said. Or, they can return the yearbook to the school to have the page replaced by the publisher.
In the letter, Conrad also referenced incidents from December in which swastikas were drawn on a desk of a Jewish teacher at the school. Since then, Conrad said, the school has begun taking steps to ensure that “hate and hate-speech be addressed directly in a straightforward and effective manner.”
“Hate speech has no home here, least of all cemented in what should be a cherished keepsake,” he said. “This is not reflective of who we are.”
This story has been updated to include the quote.Alana Levene can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alanalevene.