Florida School Pulls Yearbook After 'Concern' Over BLM Content

A school in Florida temporarily pulled its yearbook from sale following complaints about some of its Black Lives Matter content.

Two pages of West Broward High School yearbook showed a number of students holding placards while mentioning their participation in the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as featuring the names of people who have been killed by police in the U.S.

As reported by Local 10, the school administration told students on Friday that they must stop distributing the book.

"Most of it is history...of why it's happening." Edge Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief Elise Twitchell told Local 10. "I guess more parents' complaints came in."

Twitchell said the complaints were that the article did not also mention the pro-police Blue Lives Matter movement for balance.

"We just didn't feel that including anything beyond Black Lives Matter was appropriate because we thought that it took away from the purpose of the page," said West Broward High School Yearbook Teacher David Fleischer.

Sommer Dean, who is an attorney at the Student Press Law Center in Washington, said the school had engaged in "basic censorship" after stopping the students from distributing the yearbooks over their content.

"It's well within (the students) purview legally to determine what content they want to include and what convent they think is not relevant," Dean added.

By Monday, the yearbook advisor was told that sales and distribution of the yearbook could resume after the school district reviewed the book and its content.

"I know that their intent was to do the right thing, I'm just not sure that their execution was necessarily appropriate," said Fleischer.

"Indefinitely suspending the yearbook over a spread advocating for education about racism is not what a "world-class" school does," he added. "The Administration had the opportunity to review the BLM spread before publication and chose not to, thereby tacitly approving its inclusion."

In a statement to Newsweek, Broward County Public Schools said: "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.

"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, as a governmental entity, the Broward County School Board must maintain a neutral stance on all on all political views; therefore; the views expressed in the yearbook are not sponsored by the District."

A person holds up a placard that reads, 'Black lives matter' during a protest in the city of Detroit, Michigan, on May 29, 2020. A school in Florida temporarily pulled its yearbook from sale following complaints about some of its Black Lives Matter content SETH HERALD / AFP/Getty Images