Damaged yearbooks

The Carillon returns yearbooks for reprinting amidst scratched covers, falling out pages


Irene Zheng

The Carillon’s 2023 yearbook highlights what makes Bellaire unique. Out of the 900 yearbooks ordered, at least 300 have some kind of damage to their covers or binding.

Claire Bradford, Reporter

After working on the 2023 yearbook for 10 months, the Carillon began distributing yearbooks on April 27. Centered around the theme “Really,” the yearbooks highlight the “unique aspects of Bellaire,” including changes in leadership, the construction of the new building and feats of various departments on campus.

“When developing the theme, we decided to use a lighthearted conversational tone throughout the book that reflected upon all the unexpected events of the last year,” senior and editor-in-chief Celeste Mackin said. “We used clusters of shapes to symbolize everyone coming together as one and moving forward despite the challenges of the past year.”

Students and faculty ordered 900 yearbooks. As people received their books, they began to notice that certain copies had pages falling out while others had scratches across their covers. While these defects are not unusual on a smaller scale, this year at least 300 yearbooks were damaged by the manufacturer, Balfour.

Anyone who has a damaged yearbook can bring their book to room 1307 by Monday, May 1 to get a replacement and should email yearbook advisor Andrea Negri at [email protected]. Students can return their books even if they have been written in, and all damaged personalized yearbooks will be reprinted with the same personalizations.

Negri said she feels “disappointed” about the situation.

“It feels really crummy to have to tell someone who preordered a book months ago that they have to wait a few more weeks when a number of their friends – or even family members – might already have their book,” Negri said. “I also felt really awful for my yearbook staffers. I didn’t want them to be blamed for something they absolutely could not have controlled.”

Mackin and other yearbook staff members shared Negri’s disappointment.

“Everyone worked hard to collect content and design pages,” Mackin said. “It felt terrible to tell people who had paid for a yearbook that we couldn’t give them one because our books had pages falling out of them.”

Negri hopes that the reprinted yearbooks will be ready for distribution before senior finals. In addition, she wants people to know that this year’s yearbook issues will not become a common occurrence.

“I don’t want anyone to think this is normal or that this is going to happen all over again next year,” Negri said. “This is my 14th yearbook as an adviser, and I helped with the yearbook when I was in high school. So out of 18 books, this is the only time I’ve ever experienced something happening on this scale.”

Statement from Balfour made on April 27:

“For the Yearbook Audience in the Bellaire HS Community, from Balfour:

Thank you for supporting Bellaire High School Publications. We hope you will enjoy your copy of the 2023 Carillon yearbook.

Balfour Publishing regrets the plant manufacturing error that occurred on a number of copies in the 2023 Carillon. Our quality assurance teams are investigating and taking quick corrective action to replace the [affected] copies as soon as possible.

We are deeply sorry that this causes some students a delay in receiving their yearbook. We ensure that we will correct the problem and provide a new copy before the end of the semester.

We would also like to reiterate that the Carillion staff is not responsible for the manufacturing errors. We apologize and hope that this will not detract the readers from appreciating the hard work of the student journalists who produced this beautiful publication.

Janey Garrison

Director of Customer Service, Balfour&Co Dallas”