Students at Sabino High School in Tucson, Arizona were shocked to discover that administration had covered up some of their quotes in the yearbook with duct tape.
The school officials gave students their yearbooks, and when the graduating seniors opened them up to see their quotes next to their pictures, some were shocked to see that the administration had covered 10 of them up with tape because they were deemed to be offensive.
One of the covered quotes was from a senior girl who wrote, “Every Mexican needs a white best friend.” Her “white best friend” appeared to have her quote covered too, and reports speculate that it most likely said, “Every white person needs a Mexican best friend.” The covering up of other quotes, such as “'Come getcha some' – Turtle Man,” baffled students who could not understand why something that seemed to be pretty meaningless would be covered up with tape.
“It is inappropriate,” said school board member Michael Hicks. “We don’t know what the school administration was thinking but this does not seem fair to the seniors of Sabino High School. We fought hard to stop teachers from imposing their world view in our other schools’ classrooms. It should be wrong for all of our professionals. They paid $75 for a book and they put tape all over it. Nothing I have read warrants what they have done. I think the District should apologize or give the kids their money back. The principal should have reviewed this before it went to the printer. If it offends his sensibilities for whatever reason, those reasons should be articulated to the students, and adults should have talked to them about their objections beforehand.”
Others agreed, and as board member Mark Stegeman pointed out to the Arizona Daily Independent, the school could have censored quotes prior to printing if they did not approve.
“If the high school intended to censor the students’ quotations in the yearbook, then they should have done that before they sent it to the printer,” said Stegeman. “As it is, the students got less than what they paid for, and they got it very late and missed the opportunity for inscriptions. That is a big part of what makes the yearbook meaningful.”
School district superintendent H.T. Sanchez says he was not aware that the yearbooks were distributed but, according to reports, would not comment on the duct tape censorship.