An Elkhorn school that drew national attention for a Christmas controversy last winter recently faced another religious-expression issue.
This time, it centered on the school yearbook.
Fifth-graders at Manchester Elementary School voted to put a Christian symbol on the yearbook cover: a cross.
It is not clear who designed the cover art, if the students had other choices or who authorized its printing.
But it ended up on the yearbook.
The board of directors of the Parent Teacher Organization, in charge of producing the yearbook, subsequently reprinted the book without the cross.
A spokeswoman for the Elkhorn Public Schools said Wednesday the PTO leaders and principal first saw the cross cover a couple of weeks ago after the books were printed.
The cover featured words of virtue and inspiration, including “faith,” arranged in the shape of a cross.
The PTO leaders ordered the reprint, which removed the cross and left the image of sky and clouds, said spokeswoman Kara Perchal.
The reprinted yearbook was distributed to families on Friday, the last day of school, Perchal said.
Last winter, the school drew national attention after then-principal Jennifer Sinclair issued a memo to staff prohibiting all Christmas-related symbols, including candy canes, Christmas carols, and red and green items, at the school, located northwest of 168th and Blondo Streets.
Perchal said the PTOs are responsible for creating and publishing the yearbooks with money from their fundraising. PTOs do not receive district funds, she said.
Generally, she said, cover art is approved by principals in the winter. In this case, because of the situation with the previous principal, the cover didn’t go through the normal approval process, she said. The principal was on administrative leave.
PTO President Andrea Abrahamson said that when board members learned of the situation, they “voted unanimously to reprint the cover as it was not sensitive to our all-student agenda.”
“The yearbook cover in question was not distributed to students,” Abrahamson said.
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Gregory Gonyea, 5, receives a rubella inoculation in 1970 at an immunization clinic at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In spite of a worried look at the inoculation gun, Gonyea later said the shot "didn't really hurt but it sure scared me."
Lisa Steimer, 9, gets a shot in the arm at Westgate School in 1975. The Nebraska and Omaha-Douglas County Health Departments staged free measles clinics in schools after reported cases reached epidemic levels.
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Elwin Taylor, an employee of the Omaha City-County Health Department, clowns with the vaccine jet injector gun during a 1972 immunization effort at Walnut Hill School in Omaha. Facing off with him is Kevin Hartzell, 5. He was one of 897 youngsters to be immunized against red measles and rubella at the school.
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Mike Padomek of the St. Joseph pharmacy staff receives a measles inoculation in 1990. Administering the vaccine is nurse Patty Hodgins.
Michala D’Ercole, a freshman at the College of St. Mary, gets a dose of the measles vaccine in 1990. College freshmen and seventh-graders were targeted for immunization under a county effort. Patricia Walkemeyer, a nurse from the Methodist College of Nursing, does the honors.
Nursing student Kim Kowalski gives a measles shot to John Gaughn of Las Vegas during a 1989 inoculation effort at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Free shots were offered to university students after a confirmed case was reported in a 20-year-old student living in a residence hall.
At a voluntary measles immunization clinic at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989, nursing student Celeste Lentz inoculates Katie Beans, a student from Omaha. After two confirmed cases in the Abel Hall dormitory, health officials pondered mandatory vaccinations to curb the disease’s spread.