Censorship Alert: Arkansas high school physically cuts out pages of published yearbook before distributing

This may be one of the most shocking examples of censorship we’ve encountered.

Students at Bigelow High School in Bigelow, Arkansas produced a timeline of world events that occurred in the last year within their yearbook. School officials don’t deny that the spread was factual, but after they received “community pushback,” they ripped the pages out of over 100 books.

We’re seeing a concerning trend of yearbooks being censored. At George S. Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida, the entire student-written yearbook was replaced by a yearbook that was produced by an external company. The new book excluded most student work including the student’s coverage of COVID, the 2020 election, and most school sporting events.

SPLC Executive Director Hadar Harris said, “The controversy at Bigelow High School is only the latest in a number of egregious censorship cases that we have seen in yearbooks across the country this year to wipe certain aspects of the past school year out of our collective memory.  We are very concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg for both yearbooks (which are currently being released) and for student newspapers embarking on reporting on the new school year.”

SPLC supports the rights of student journalists to produce content at their sole editorial discretion and condemns these efforts to rewrite history and erase the events of 2020-2021.

And in case you were wondering, this is a first amendment violation and Arkansas is a New Voices state.
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