High school apologizes for removing reference to God from yearbook

ARIZONA — A Maricopa County high school has apologized to a student for deleting a reference to God out of his school yearbook profile.

Anthony Sciubba, 18, one of more than a dozen students who were given a full-page profile in the Higley High School yearbook, approached local media in May when he discovered that the attribution of his success in school and athletics to God had been edited out of the yearbook without explanation. Sciubba, who is photographed holding a Bible in the profile, said he was surprised that his school abridged his free speech rights in name of the separation of church and state.

The published profile states Sciubba “owed all of his success to others,” but the student had seen an early draft of the yearbook that correctly quoted him saying that he owed his success to God.

“You can attribute success to almost anyone … but when it comes to God, people get a little scared,” Sciubba said.

The profile also states Sciubba is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he intends to continue his studies at Pepperdine University, a private Christian school.

Yearbook adviser Jennifer Wojtulewicz has said to local media that the student was informed in advance that his profile could not contain religious references.

Wojtulewicz could not be reached for comment.

But Higley High School communications director Christy Stevens said the school released a statement admitting that the word God should not have been taken out.

“It is both regrettable and unfortunate that an opportunity to validate a young man’s character and beliefs was passed by,” the statement reads.

Stevens said the decision to remove the word God from Sciubba’s profile was a joint decision by Wojtulewicz and the student yearbook staff.

Sciubba said he does not plan to take any legal action on the school. He graduated with the rest of his class May 24.