Deceased student omitted from school yearbook

Jacob Planck passed away in January, but his photo was omitted from his school yearbook.
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A Noblesville family is angry after their deceased son was left out of his school's yearbook.

On the last day of school Friday, Jacob Planck's classmates came home carrying a hastily printed memory of a nearly forgotten friend.

"I think it is amazing to have a picture of Jacob. The only one I have is the one from his funeral," said Planck's friend, Lilly Blond.

Planck died in January. He was on the school bus when a blood vessel on his brain burst. The loss was heartbreaking for his family and friends.

"He was always happy, always sweet," said his mother, Rebecca.

Five months later, Jacob's picture isn't in his school's yearbook. Friends were saddened, his family stunned.

"I was shocked. How could he be forgotten? How could he be written off?" Rebecca Planck asked.

She found out about her son's omission during dinner with a friend.

"I cried right there at the dinner table. I was really mad and sad, too," she said.

Her call to the principal got a quick explanation. Fall Creek Intermediate School turned in its class list to the yearbook printer in April. At least on paper, Jacob was no longer a student.

Classmates had worn t-shirts in Jacob's memory. His donated organs saved lives. The school honored him in several ways, yet forgot to put his picture in the yearbook.

"He was part of that school. He was part of that class," Rebecca said.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools agreed.

"(Fall Creek Intermediate School) is extremely sorry for the oversight," the district said in a written statement. "In no way does it diminish the special place that Jacob holds within the FCI family."

The school quickly printed a tribute page for students to place inside their yearbooks. Jacob's mom accepts the apology and hopes it doesn't happen to another family.

"He was always such a good friend. I would like him to be remembered as part of the class, the great friend he was," Rebecca said.

Friends will have to take extra care that the special page in memory of a special classmate isn't lost.