Black excellence

Two students win fight to include Black Lives Matter section in their yearbook

VICTORY: Vanessa Mewborn and Ariana Coleman

TWO HIGH school students have won their fight to pay tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement in their yearbook.

Ariana Coleman and Vanessa Mewborn were initially asked by their school, Buckingham Carter Magnet High School, to put together a Black Lives Matter piece but it almost didn’t make the annual publication.

Though taken aback because “you don’t expect that coming out of Buckingham”, the pair set out interviewing teachers and students to find out how Buckingham Charter Magnet High School felt about race.

It was said that the piece divided the student body so heavily and administrators were worried about that.

Ariana said: “After all that work we did, after all the interviews and then you don’t run it because you think it’s racist?”

Unhappy with the school’s decision, Ariana and Vanessa contacted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and won the right to have the piece included.

Abre’ Conner, a staff attorney with the ACLU said, “It was a clear violation of the First Amendment, state law and education code.”

Vanessa said: “Black people as a community, our lives do matter.”

Ariana added: “I hope everyone understands that black lives matter, all lives matter and my voice matters.”

The school released a statement saying it supports students’ rights to free speech, and hopes shedding light on various perspectives will give students a better understanding of one another.


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