CORRECTION (published 10/30/03): A news article and illustration on the front page of last week's edition incorrectly identified one of the characters on the cover of the Wallowa High School yearbook as Adolf Hitler. The character is not Hitler but Nazi general Erwin Rommel, according to yearbook staff member Lee Phelps. The Chieftain regrets the error and any inconvenience that it caused.
Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have found their place in Wallowa High School's 2002-2003 yearbook, and parent Ena May Dempsey is furious.
Warming up to her sentiments she says, "I just feel it is inappropriate. They are over in Iraq tearing down his statues and we are putting his picture next to our kids in our yearbook. I feel it is a slap in the faces of people fighting in the war over there!"
Dempsey's anger was triggered by the cover and facing current events pages which pictured collages of student and news-makers from this year. She said that she knew of at least two other parents who felt the same way but declined to go public for fear of involving their child in a controversy.
Dempsey is the mother of senior Alyssa Werst.
The yearbook's cover, both front and back, is dotted with small facial squares of students interspersed with those of world leaders. Facing pages inside represent current events from around the world.
Yearbook adviser Lisa Turner hadn't heard the the criticism yet, but defended her students' actions. She said the annual was representative of the year for the nation and state, as well as the school. She said that the yearbook included pictures of President Bush, Mr. Rogers (who died during the year), pop culture leaders, Iraqi soldiers, war protesters, Hussein, bin Laden, Erwin Rommel and others. Junior Lee Phelps, who worked on the annual last year, said the intent of the pictures was "to reflect the current events of the year. We showed no sympathy to any of them, either way."