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HomeGeneralIdaho High School Student Refuses to Shake Superintendent During Ceremony, Drops Banned...

Idaho High School Student Refuses to Shake Superintendent During Ceremony, Drops Banned Book at His Feet

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A picture of Annabelle Jenkins.
Source: Pinterest

During a high school graduation in Idaho, one of the graduates decided to use the opportunity to voice her opinion. However, it was not just her opinion that caught our attention, but also the method she chose to pass it. 

Idaho high school student, Annabelle Jenkins was one of the 44 students to be awarded a diploma. On Thursday, May 23, 2024, her high school, the Idaho Fine Arts Academy, held its graduation ceremony.

After her name was called, per tradition, she climbed up the stage to shake hands with school administrators. As Jenkins took a handshake from the administrators, she abruptly stopped in front of Derek Bub, the West Ada School District Superintendent. Subsequently, she pulled her sleeves and removed a copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Bub refused to accept the book, which resulted in Jenkin placing the book on his legs as she made her way through the stage. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is one of the ten graphic novels that the school district removed from its library in late 2023. As a result of its graphic content being highly inappropriate for its students.

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According to Jenkins, she and a few of her classmates spoke out against the ban after it was banned at the beginning of the school session. Jenkins said the main reason they were protesting the removal was because students were not allowed to give an opinion on the ban. Additionally, she also stated that the ban was not open as the staff were included in the decision-making. 

Jenkins reports that the educator who contested the book had no idea what book the novel was about. She posted a video of her actions to Tik Tom. The video has now garnered over 24 million views. She said she had no intention or plan to become famous.

However, she is glad that the video has reached more people, as she hopes it ends in a ban reversal. Additionally, she admitted that the book has some mature elements in it as the story is based on sexual themes. 

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In December 2024, the Idaho Fine Arts Academy principal removed the book from the school’s library as the adaptation of the dystopian society featured illustrations of sexual violence, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho Fine Arts Academy is 11 miles west of Boise and serves grades 6 through 12. Students must audition to attend.

A district representative, Niki Scheppers, told the newspaper that the school had concluded there was no mechanism in place to “determine whether pupils at particular grade levels may access certain books.”

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After refusing to accept her diploma, she went off course to sing praise to Jesus. When the books were initially removed from the school library, a review panel was formed. The group consisted of the chief academic officer, an English instructor, and the principals of the middle and high schools.

Scheppers, in response to her protest, said while they respect the student’s right to protest, it is important to focus on their achievements and milestones.

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