Yearbook production halted by coronavirus pandemic

Cesca Campisano

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Herff Jones decided to temporarily shut down many of their factories producing yearbooks, class rings and graduation products.

On March 24, they announced the closure of their plant in Kansas City, MO, where the Crimson Yearbook is produced.

The company plans to open their factories for production on May 1; however, with the current state of the virus, it is expected to be delayed even further.

“No one is sure of anything, especially when non-essential jobs will be allowed to go back to work. It seems that this could go through May, so I believe that the reopening of the plant will be affected because of the pandemic,” said Pieper Mallett (12, J&C), one of the Editors-In-Chief for the 2019-2020 yearbook.

Although the yearbook was sent before JCPS closed all schools, its production will be delayed until the reopening of the plants, affecting the date for yearbook distribution.

“Because of the plant being shut down until May 1, a distribution day before the last day of school is nearly impossible. First of all, even if the books were to come before we’re out of school there would be no time to advertise distribution day for the amount of time we’re used to. So now we have to resort to a different plan of action for the books,” said Destiny Graham (12, J&C), the other Editor-In-Chief of the 2019-2020 yearbook staff.

Another issue facing distribution is that on the day before schools were closed, Principal Darryl Farmer announced that no assistant principals, staff members or students would be permitted to enter the school building following the afternoon of April 13, effectively locking the yearbooks in the school once they arrive.

“Until we know when the books are coming we will not have a date for distribution day,” said Margaret Mattingly, the advisor of the Crimson Yearbook staff.

As of now, the staff has no current plans as to how or when the books are going to be distributed to the student body.

“At least lives aren’t being lost because of the product of our yearbook. Although I’m sad the book won’t be out anytime soon, it’s for the greater good that non-essential businesses close down for the time being and once people are safe and healthy we can hopefully continue on with somewhat normal life,” Graham said.