Students at a high school in Longwood, Florida didn’t receive their yearbooks on Monday as promised — and the reason has caused some to fight back against their school board.
Michael Hunter, principal at Lyman High School, sent a message to families this week saying that the distribution of the yearbooks will be delayed because photos from a student-led LGBTQ rights protest need to be covered up with stickers beforehand, local news station WKMG reports.
The photos included in the already published yearbook show students holding signs and rainbow flags during the walkout in March in response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill prohibiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation.
Hunter told local outlet WESH that the reason why the photos need to be covered is because the protest was not sponsored or endorsed by the school and does not meet “all aspects of Seminole County School Board policies.”
“Unfortunately, the pictures and descriptions that depicted this event did not meet school board policy and were not caught earlier in the review process,” Hunter said. “Rather than reprinting the yearbook at substantial cost and delay, we have elected to cover the material that is out of compliance with board policy so that yearbooks can be distributed as soon as possible.”
Students have pushed back against the decision by launching a social media campaign called “#StoptheStickers.”
Some students on the yearbook team are also planning to attend a Seminole County school board meeting on Tuesday to speak up against the photos being covered.
“When my teacher first told me [about the censorship] I was just completely shocked,” Skye Tiedemann, the yearbook’s co-editor-in-chief told WESH. “Every single morning on the announcements Mr. Hunter says that we are historic, we are diverse and we are inclusive, and clearly in our yearbook we are trying to portray that with the LGBTQ community.”