Student didn’t think yearbook would carry her commentary on racism. It did

With the distribution of high school yearbooks, we are knee deep in yearbook controversies as usual. The latest is from Revere, Mass., where Betshina Bernier’s yearbook quote was taken from a Florida student’s yearbook from last year.

She tells the Boston Globe she chose the quote to highlight the racial tensions at her school.

“We have a lot of racial issues and conflicts within our school, so I didn’t think they would allow my quote to pass through and cause more chaos over race at the end of the school year,” she said.

But they did and it did. Sort of.

So far, the district has received a few complaints about Bernier’s tweet, [school superintendent Dianne] Kelly said, including from two parents and one student, who “felt it was a racist comment.”

Bernier said that she has experienced mostly positive feedback on her Twitter post. But like any other viral tweet, she said it has attracted some backlash, with some detractors being her own classmates.

“Everybody thinks that speaking ‘white’ is to sound proper, and that’s not it,” Bernier said. “Everybody sounds how they sound, they speak how they speak.”

As to how the quote got published, Kelly said that the yearbook is edited by Revere High students, who flag any quotes with hate speech or profanity for review by a teacher who is the yearbook advisor. The teacher would then alert the administration, and the student would be spoken with.

“Even though this quote has racial overtones, it’s not an outright threat or hate speech or something that would fall into that category, which might be why it was not flagged,” Kelly said.

Administrators say they spoke to Bernier about the impact a tweet can have on people for the rest of their lives.