Story at a glance:
- A Florida high school dedicated two pages in its yearbook to the Black Lives Matter movement and students’ participation.
- Some teachers and parents complained that the section “didn’t seem objective” and should include mention of All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter.
- The adviser of the yearbook defended the student yearbook as it is.
A high school in Florida had its yearbook distribution put on pause because it dedicated a section of the book to Black Lives Matter and students’ participation in the movement.
School yearbooks are typically written by students and advised by a teacher.
Teacher David Fleischer told CNN that his students on the yearbook committee were proud of their finished product, having carefully planned the topics and sections all year.
Some parents and teachers, however, complained about the two-page spread on Black Lives Matter.
Last Friday, Fleischer was told students could not hand out yearbooks as part of a review from school officials concerned about the coverage of the racial justice movement.
"I found out that it was because there were some complaints from teachers and from parents about the content of the BLM page," Fleischer told CNN. "That it didn't seem objective, there were no opposing views. They mentioned the fact that we should have had, or could have included, something like Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter."
On Monday, Fleischer, who believes "not every story has, or should include, an opposing viewpoint" wrote a counterargument email defending the yearbook as is.
“Stating ‘All Lives Matter’ is equivalent to stating ‘all houses matter’ when one in the neighborhood is on fire,” the adviser wrote. “Advocating for one group does not mean you are attacking another, but using a countermovement distracts from the discussions that must occur about how people of color are impacted by racism.”
Shortly after the email was sent, Fleischer was told the book could be distributed again. The yearbooks were handed out again on Monday.
The one major change is that the Broward County Schools District added a disclaimer:
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
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