Imagine looking through your freshly-printed high school yearbook just weeks before graduation only to realize there’s something missing – you.
That’s exactly what happened to Kobe Diaz. “I'm obviously not there and that's just very heartbreaking for me,” he told NBC 7.
Diaz is an Honors student and athlete, and he received an academic scholarship to attend University of San Diego next year.
Otay Ranch High School told Kobe the manufacturer made a mistake that left him and four other seniors out of the book. One of the students left out was a yearbook editor.
The school immediately tried to fix the situation by offering Kobe a free yearbook and stickers with his picture to place in friends’ yearbooks. Kobe’s mother, Lourdes Diaz, said that’s not good enough.
“I'm just very disappointed that with the way it was handled from the very beginning,” she said. “That boy deserved nothing but the best. He's an excellent student, an excellent son, an excellent friend.”
A Sweetwater Union High School District spokesman says the school pressured the manufacturer to print five new complete yearbooks for the five students left out. They will also receive stickers with their pictures to put in other yearbooks.
“I'm just very disappointed that this wasn't the first step that was taken,” Kobe’s mother commented.
Kobe said he’s still disappointed.
“Maybe there's a chance that I don't give a card to a certain person and they're going to look back 20 years later and say, 'Oh, where's this kid? Oh, he probably didn't graduate with us. Huh, that's weird.' And that's big, that's very important,” he said.
The district spokesman said Kobe and his classmates will get their complete yearbooks next week.