West Broward High School seniors discovered last week that they wouldn’t get their yearbooks on time because it included coverage of Black Lives Matter protests. As the Miami Herald reports, the assistant principal at the school halted the distribution of the books because the BLM spread included was “too politically one sided.”
Students at the school and the yearbook’s editors have criticized the decision to halt the distribution of the books, which was reportedly made after “concerns” were expressed by some parents of students at the Florida school. School administrations made the decision without speaking with the editors of the yearbook first.
The spread included images of students who participated in Black Lives Matter protests, and it also broke down the history of the movement from the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2013 to the summer 2020 protests.
The yearbook was initially indefinitely suspended, but this week the school district permitted the editors of the yearbook to distribute it alongside a letter from the principal. “Please note that as a governmental agency, the School Board of Broward County must maintain a neutral stance on all political views,” wrote principal Brad Fatout. “As such, any political views expressed in the 2021 West Broward yearbook are not sponsored by the district.”
The team that worked on the yearbook called the letter “offensive,” and said it “dehumanizes the non-white students at West Broward and the entire Broward County School District.”
“I’m very, very proud of my students, and it’s been a great learning experience for them. They’ve taken the helm,” said yearbook teacher David Fleischer, who was ordered to not distribute or sell the $90 yearbook after parents complained. “I’m really proud of how much they pushed this and how much they stood up for what they believe in, their publication and the student body.”
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