American Muslim student labelled 'Isis' in high school yearbook

American Muslim student labelled 'Isis' in high school yearbook
An American Muslim student at a California high school was horrified to discover she had been misnamed 'Isis Phillips' in the school's yearbook, which the school is currently investigating.
3 min read
10 May, 2016
Bayan Zehlif has suffered a backlash after the incident [Twitter]

An American Muslim student from California was left horrified after discovering that her high school yearbook had printed the caption "Isis Phillips" under her picture.

"I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this," 17-year-old Bayan Zehlif, wrote on Facebook.

"Apparently I am 'Isis' in the yearbook. The school reached out to me and had the audacity to say that this was a typo. I beg to differ, let's be real," added the high school senior.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the teenager explained that since raising the issue, she has experienced a frightening backlash from fellow students.

"To have my classmates, the people that I'm going to be graduating with, hate on me and attack me like that, it hurts a lot," she told reporters during the press conference organised by Council on American-Islamic Relations in Anaheim, California.

Zehlif who is due to graduate later this month said that she will probably take her final exams in a separate room, away from her classmates.

However, she intends to attend her May 19 graduation, despite being worried about possible taunts from fellow students.

The school's principle, Susan Petrocelli apologised for the error and said they were investigating the "regrettable misprint."

Petrocelli told The Islamic Monthly that a student named Isis Phillips had attended the school in the past, but could not explain how that name came to be printed under the Muslim teenager's photo.

"If there is a student that has responsibly and intentionally committed this, we will take the appropriate action that is necessary," Petrocelli said.

The school's yearbook account on Twitter issued an apology to Bayan, saying that the caption was name error was a mistake. It later recalled its yearbook.

"The school will assure students, staff and the community that this regrettable incident in no way represents the values, or beliefs, of Los Osos High School," the school district's superintendent Mat Holton told the Times.

He said the school noticed the mistake last week, but only after some 300 copies had already been distributed.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged an investigation into the incident that "deeply embarrassed" Zehlif and her family.

"We join with the family in their concern about a possible bias motive for this incident and in the deep concern for their daughter's safety as a result of being falsely labelled as a member of a terrorist group," Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of CAIR's Los Angeles office, said in a statement.

"No student should have to face the humiliation of being associated with a group as reprehensible as ISIS."