Parents Complaints Cause Florida High School to Briefly Stops Distributing Yearbook Over Black Lives Matter Coverage Versus Blue Lives Matter
Florida high school put a stop to the distribution of a student-run yearbook following a wave of complaints about coverage of Black Lives Matter movement according to Local 10 News. Students at West Broward High School located in Pembroke Pines, Florida began to get their yearbook a couple of weeks ago, but on June 4th the administration told them to stop distributing the yearbooks.
The announcement came after some backlash over the book’s two-page spread showing students involved in the BLM movement and names of those who’ve died at the hands of police. This was considered not to be objective because it didn’t include a conversation about Blue Lives Matter, which was created in December 2014 as a countermovement.
Edge Yearbook co-editor-in-chief Elise Twitchell says that student advocacy should be documented because students participated in the movement. Students reportedly got involved in the movement following the fatal shooting of unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman.
Twitchell’s yearbook teacher David Fleischer told the news outlet “We just don’t feel that including anything beyond Black Lives Matter was appropriate because we thought that it took away from the purpose of the page.” Fleischer also said that school administrators were able to review the controversial spread before it went to print “thereby tacitly approving its inclusion.” He added, “Indefinitely suspending the yearbook over a spread advocating for education about racism is not what a ‘world class’ school does.”
Twitchell a senior at the high school said they weren’t even given notice before the administration made them stop selling and distributing the $90 yearbook. The student said “more parents’ complaints came in.” She later released a letter writing, “The suspension of yearbook distribution and sales because of a page that talks about the struggles that black people face in our world is disappointing and gross because a good amount of our student body is black, or a person of color.”
The administration said it conducted a review of the book’s content, and on Monday, June 7, distribution of the yearbook started again. Broward County Public Schools sent a letter to the community expressing their support of student expression.
“As the yearbook is intended to highlight notable and newsworthy events from that year, student journalists exercised their freedom of speech in documenting the movement. As a result of the review, distribution of the yearbook resumed Monday morning with an insert noting that the views expressed are not sponsored by the District,” the letter added.
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