A Florida school district has prohibited a high school from showing photos of students protesting the Parental Rights in Education law in their yearbook, sparking pushback, Click Orlando reported Monday.
Seminole County Public Schools reviewed the protest photos in Lyman High School’s yearbook and determined that they do not meet school board policy, Click Orlando reported. Because of how the photos and captions depict a non-school sponsored event, principal Michael Hunter indicated that yearbook distribution would be delayed as a result, according to the outlet.
In a statement published by Click Orlando, Hunter said the yearbook would be delayed rather than re-printed in order to avoid “substantial cost.” Hunter also said the photos and their descriptions “were not caught earlier in the review process.”
“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 reportedly explained in his statement. “Rather than reprinting the yearbook at substantial cost and delay, we have elected to cover that material that is out of compliance with board policy so that yearbooks can be distributed as soon as possible.”
School administrators have required the photos to be covered with stickers, which has sparked backlash, according to students, Click Orlando reported. Some students have allegedly started an online hashtag campaign called “Stop The Stickers,” according to the outlet. (RELATED: Gov. DeSantis Signs ‘Parental Rights’ Bill Into Law)
Seminole County Public Schools spokesman Michael Lawrence said the protest itself wasn’t problematic, but the descriptions and photos of the protest in the yearbook could give the impression of the school endorsing the event, which would violate school board policy, according to the Associated Press (AP). He also reportedly said that the yearbook prints a page containing photos of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance Club and that those photos do not violate policy.
Students at Lyman High School staged a walkout protest back in March over the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which prohibits classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The yearbooks would cost around $45,000 to be re-printed, according to the outlet.