A Florida Yearbook Had Be Put On Hold To Remove Images Of Students Protesting The State’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

For the last couple months, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and cronies have been under fire for the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, legislation he signed into law in late March that forbids instructors mentioning LGBTQIA+ issues through third grade. It’s to protect children, DeSantis, who was once caught on video bullying kids, claims. The bill has its critics, including The Walt Disney Company, the largest employer in the Sunshine State, with whom DeSantis and other right-wingers have gone to war.

It has some other critics, too: Florida students, who have protested the bill with walk-outs. Their attempts to speak out against it have even caused the delay of one school’s yearbook.

As per CBS News, a high school in central Florida had to postpone distribution of the year’s yearbooks because they have to manually censor images of students at a protest of the bill in March, which finds some holding rainbow flags and signs reading “love is love.” Reprinting 600 yearbooks would be a costly move, with a pricetag of $45,000. Instead, said images will be manually covered up with stickers.

Why go to the trouble to erase what was for many a major event of the 2021-2022 school year? Because district officials don’t want people thinking they or the school supported the walkout. A spokesman for the county’s school board pointed out they aren’t hiding all LGBTQIA+ content; a page dedicated to the Gay Straight Alliance Club will remain unblemished, as will photos of students at a pride march.

One of the yearbook’s editors-in-chief, Skye Tiedemann, slammed the move. “This really shouldn’t be happening because all we did as journalists was document what was happening at our school on our campus,” she told the Orlando Sentinel. “To have that covered up isn’t right. … This is censorship.”

Florida representative Carlos G. Smith also torched the county’s decision, saying they were “literally COVERING UP school protests against #DontSayGay in their 2022 yearbook. This censorship is a direct result of the law these students were protesting. #WeWillNotBeErased in this so-called “free state”.

The latter is a reference to DeSantis, who at press conferences has referred to the state that punishes LGBTQIA+ teachers and attacks corporations that criticize them as the “free state of Florida.”

(Via CBS News)