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Wylie ISD family says son bullied when incorrect name printed in yearbook

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Jun 12 2013 07:40:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 02:00:25 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

The family of Rodney Jones Jr. believes he was bullied by at least one student at Wylie High School.

The Jones family has been in Wylie ISD for seven years. For Rodney Jr., his third year at the high school ended with major disappointment.

At the end of the school year, Rodney Jr. said he was shocked to find his name printed as rapper "Earl Sweatshirt" underneath his picture in the school yearbook.

"My son came home and he is...very mild mannered and laid back," said Mica Jones, Rodney Jr.'s mother. "He came home kind of frustrated and upset, visibly upset and we don't see him like that very much. He said 'Mom they changed my name to Earl Sweatshirt in the yearbook.'"

Rodney and his family said they believe the change wasn't a mistake.

"They give you a card whenever you take a picture and it has your name on it," Rodney Jr. said.

"We had to look it up because I was like, 'Who is Earl Sweatshirt?' But the kids know who it is," Mica said. "That's why I was really surprised that it got past the entire yearbook staff.  I mean the faculty adviser, she may not know because she's of our generation, but the younger kids know who he is."

Mica said the harassment didn't stop with the yearbook error.

"We deal with the whole yearbook picture, and then I'm dealing with social media, Instagram pictures and I'm dealing with folks calling my house," Mica said. "I don't understand why people would do that."

"I just think it was him (the student) trying to be funny," Rodney Jr. said. "Trying to make people laugh and stuff like that."

However, Rodney said he didn't find the error funny.

"It made me feel very upset to see that my name was changed," Rodney Jr. said.

"My husband and I met with the vice principal and the yearbook adviser, and to their credit, they were very apologetic," Mica said. "I could tell were very embarrassed about what happened."

Rodney Jr. said, "I don't want people to remember me as rapper Earl Sweatshirt. I want to be remembered as me – Rodney Jones."

Wylie Superintendent Joey Light said he met with the family earlier Wednesday to resolve the issue.

Light said the matter was addressed. However, the district will not comment on the agreement with the family and wouldn't comment on any disciplinary actions.