God is Dead ... but Yearbook Censorship Is Alive and Well

Arlington High School junior and debate club president Justin Surber likes to wear his black T-shirt featuring Friedrich Nietzche's famous words "God is Dead." He wears it to provoke debate, he says, believing that his right to free speech is protected.

The school's yearbook, however, apparently disagreed. Gale Fiege of HearldNet has the story:

Nobody has told him he can't wear the shirt to school. He wears it to provoke debate, he says, and that's why he wore the shirt the day the debate club photo was taken for the yearbook.

Now Surber believes his T-shirt prompted the school's yearbook adviser to ask for a retake of the photo, without the T-shirt.

“I feel I am a victim of censorship,” Surber said.

When a student yearbook staff member came to take a second photo of the debate club a few weeks ago, Surber's friend Reed Summerlin asked for an explanation.

The yearbook staffer indicated she had been asked by the yearbook adviser not to tell Surber the reason for the retake, Summerlin said. “She said it was about Justin's shirt.”

Link (Photo: Dan Bates / The Herald) - via Unique Daily

What do you think? Was that a case of censorship, reasonable yearbook policy, or just a tempest-in-a-teapot indignation of a teenager?

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Heh, I can relate: 35 years ago my quote was censored from my senior picture in the high school yearbook. "Thou art Peter and from this garden thou shalt pick pecks of pickled peppers." I had to change to "You can drink borscht with a cross bear and carry home salt, but you will limp." Civilization would have collapsed if the first quote had been published, so you're all lucky.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I am glad to see that Holden Caulfield is alive and well.
Jimssss thank you for the links. They have added an interesting perspective to this debate.

The article mentions that some of the other debate club members did not want to be in a photo with him wearing the shirt. I agree with the photoshop idea. He could "magically" be wearing a plain black shirt.
Back when I was in high school, we were not allowed to wear logos of any kind (to avoid fighting).
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Its the double standard society that we have created that is the biggest ugliest monster out there.

If it is NOT ok for Joe to do something, but Bob can ( because he is not Joe) then it should not be allowed for Bob either.

If Joe is white and cannot have a TV channel exclusively for white people, why can Bob do it because he is black?
IF Joe is atheist and cannot put on a T-shirt sparking debate on the topic, why can Bob do it because he is a Christian?
IF Joe is a random person and has to do community service for drunk driving, why doesn't Bob, just because he's a celebrity?

I wonder if we'll ever be able to hold our heads up and say things are fair. I imagine the world has better odds of ending before that ever happens.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
@Annata: Thank you! I was waiting for *someone* to get it right. Only, I would have rephrased "He was aware, as any reasonably intelligent life-form is, that such a thing as a god has never and will never exist, and that the concept is obviously man-made." a bit less smarter-than-thou. Not out of undue respect for religious beliefs, but as a way to keep discourse civil.

The 'morons' thing was right on, though. When you quote a famous philosopher, don't assume well-known phrases mean what they seem to mean at first glance.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"God is Dead ... but Yearbook Censorship Is Alive and Well"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window