Republicans expend a lot of energy rewriting the parts of history they don’t like. In their minds, Donald Trump is still in office and the January 6th insurrection not only wasn’t a riot, it was a simple little tourist event probably ruined by “Antifa and Black Lives Matter” protestors. When corrupt politicians push lies into social media where the young and impressionable can see them, the consequences go far beyond their phone screens.
That’s the reason a school principal in Arkansas has been forced to apologize for several “political inaccuracies” in a yearbook falsely stating that Donald Trump was not impeached and that last year’s racial protests in the US were “Black Lives Matter riots”.
Josh Thompson, principal of Bentonville’s Lincoln Junior High School, admitted that some of the contents of the yearbook, which also included a photograph of the deadly January 6th insurrection in Washington DC captioned: “Trump supporters protest at the Capitol,” were “both biased and political”.
In a letter sent to students and parents, Thompson said the yearbook “does not represent our values nor meet LJHS and Bentonville Schools’ standards for quality and excellence.”The letter did not address how the false statements and political opinions came to be published, but the school promised that administrators would “evaluate its vetting process for all yearbook content to ensure future publications are of the highest quality”.
Bentonville Arkansas Jr High School year book… WTFFFF pic.twitter.com/FGM5dY7xAb
— emmie (@_missfroggy) May 25, 2021
The Lincoln yearbook featured a photograph of an unidentified group next to an overturned car, with the caption: “Black Lives Matter riots Started in Minneapolis in may of 2020 [sic]”; and a separate photograph of the former president with his fists clenched and the caption: “President Trump WAS NOT impeached.”
In reality, Trump was the first president to be impeached twice, in 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and again this year for inciting the Capitol insurrection. Considering yearbooks are mostly created by an all-student staff under the supervision of at least one member of the school faculty, it’s not too much of a leap to know where the misinformation came from and how it was misused.
Meanwhile in Lincoln, AR –
The middle school yearbook has the following pics. School claims no responsibility for the message
But – let's not teach accurate information regarding slavery because it's too controversial 🙄
This is how white supremacy is perpetuated pic.twitter.com/c4V93AUZcI
— Blatina Momma, Esq. (@73mbh) May 24, 2021
“We can and will do better to provide a quality yearbook to students that can be a cherished item as they reminisce about their time at [the] school,” Thompson said, offering his “deepest apologies” and a refund to parents who had bought one.
@chrislhayes @JoyAnnReid @maddow Meanwhile here in Bentonville, Arkansas this is what our junior high yearbook lists as some of the interesting things that happened in 2020! What the hell are they teaching our children? pic.twitter.com/EguTuXJcTv
— maura browne (@mpaellis) May 25, 2021
The Arkansas controversy follows another yearbook scandal earlier this week in which a Florida high school was criticized for digitally altering dozens of images of female students to hide their chests and shoulders.