The Broward County school district confirmed in a statement that it paused distribution of the yearbook, which is called “The Edge.”
“Broward County Public Schools supports and encourages students’ freedom of expression. After concern was expressed last week regarding editorial student content included in the West Broward High School yearbook about the Black Lives Matter movement, the school’s administration paused distribution late Friday afternoon while the concerns were carefully reviewed,” la declaración decía.
Distribution resumed Monday, but with a note inserted from the school’s principal, Brad Fatout.
It said, according to a photo of the note shared by Fleischer: “Please note that as a governmental agency, the School Board of Broward County must maintain a neutral stance on all political views. As such, any political views expressed in the 2021 West Broward yearbook are not sponsored by the District.”
The statement, Fleischer said, “looks like they’re saying that Black Lives Matter is political and it’s not a human rights issue.”
‘We were censored’
los Black Lives Matter movement gained renewed national attention last year after the police killings of Black Americans
incluso George Floyd
. En el days and weeks following Floyd’s murder, tens of thousands of people marched in streets across the US
— and around the globe
— decrying police brutality and social injustice
Earlier this year
, the movement was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for
“their struggle against racism and racially motivated violence
,” wrote Norwegian MP Petter Eide in his nomination letter.
Kennedy Messado, a senior at the high school and co-editor-in-chief of the yearbook, told CNN the yearbook committee decided to include the Black Lives Matter movement to “accurately represent the entire year and the events that took place.”
“I was more shocked and taken aback because I don’t think I considered it being an issue or somebody having an issue with the spread,” Messado said, calling it “disheartening.”
“It was concerning, as a person of color from the school, that they felt as though they could take this approach and that it wouldn’t have any repercussions,” Messado added.
Elise Twitchell, co-editor-in-chief of the yearbook, said they were “censored.”
“We were censored for a weekend and almost a full school day, and that’s not something that should be happening to a student-run publication.”
Fleischer, the yearbook adviser, said the lack of communication by school officials and the quick decision to pause distribution over the Black Lives Matter movement were both deeply upsetting, especially since so many students in the district are students of color.
Más que 40% of students enrolled in the district are Black
, according to the Broward County Public Schools sitio web.
“We just feel that this is an attack on our non-White student body and it’s just a slap in the face to my students who have worked hard in the yearbook, it’s a slap in the face to obviously the First Amendment and to journalism,” Fleischer added.