PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A highschool yearbook controversy is offering a essential lesson on censorship.
West Broward Excessive College’s yearbook got here out final week, and on Friday, college students have been advised they needed to cease distributing and promoting the books because of what they think about censorship primarily based on racist complaints.
“Most of it’s historical past,” mentioned Edge Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief Elise Twitchell. “Of why it’s taking place.”
She confirmed pages 16 and 17 of The Edge, the student-run yearbook at West Broward Excessive, to Native 10′s Hatzel Vela. The pages depicted college students collaborating within the Black Lives Matter motion and its historical past, in addition to the names of those that have died in police-involved incidents.
Twitchell, additionally a senior on the college, mentioned with out consulting them, the administration determined to cease promoting and distributing the $90 yearbook.
“I assume extra dad and mom’ complaints got here in,” she mentioned.
Twitchell mentioned they have been advised the story was not goal, as a result of it didn’t embrace a dialog about Blue Lives Matter.
However Black Lives Matter was an occasion, a motion during which college students participated, so she mentioned it needed to be documented.
“We simply didn’t really feel that together with something past Black Lives Matter was acceptable as a result of we thought that it took away from the aim of the web page,” mentioned West Broward Excessive College Yearbook Instructor David Fleischer.
In a letter to the neighborhood, Twitchell wrote:
“The suspension of yearbook distribution and gross sales due to a web page that talks concerning the struggles that black folks face in our world is disappointing and gross as a result of quantity of our scholar physique is black, or an individual of coloration.”
Sommer Dean, who’s an legal professional on the Pupil Press Legislation Middle in Washington, has seen comparable incidents occur throughout the nation.
“It seems like it’s fundamental censorship that the college has engaged in,” Dean mentioned. “It’s nicely inside (the scholars) purview legally to find out what content material they wish to embrace and what convent they assume isn’t related.”
Earlier than midday on Monday, the yearbook advisor was advised yearbook gross sales and distribution may resume. This comes after the college district mentioned there was a evaluate of the content material.
“I do know that their intent was to do the fitting factor, I’m simply undecided that their execution was essentially acceptable,” mentioned Fleischer.
The district says the yearbook is meant to spotlight newsworthy occasions, and college students did have the fitting to doc the motion, however college students fear with solely two days left of college, some seniors won’t have entry to it.
“Indefinitely suspending the yearbook over a diffusion advocating for training about racism isn’t what a “world class” college does,” mentioned Fleischer. “The Administration had the chance to evaluate the BLM unfold earlier than publication and selected to not, thereby tacitly approving its inclusion.”
Full assertion from Broward County Public Colleges:
“Broward County Public Colleges helps and encourages college students’ freedom of expression. After concern was expressed final week relating to editorial scholar content material included within the West Broward Excessive College yearbook concerning the Black Lives Matter motion, the college’s administration paused distribution on Friday afternoon whereas the considerations have been rigorously reviewed.
“Because the yearbook is meant to spotlight notable and newsworthy occasions from that yr, scholar journalists exercised their freedom of speech in documenting the motion. Because of the evaluate, distribution of the yearbook resumed Monday morning with an insert noting that the views expressed aren’t sponsored by the District.”
SEE THE INSERT BELOW
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