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Maine ACLU: School Had Right to Cover Offensive Yearbook Quote

PORTLAND, Maine - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine says Bangor High School had the right to cover up an offensive quote printed in the yearbook.

Due to what Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler says was a "regrettable" error, a quote saying that "Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and fields blue, ought to be sterilized," got through the oversight process. The quote is attributed to Adolf Hitler.

The school is now asking students to return yearbooks so they can put a sticker over the quote; yearbooks that haven't been distributed already have the sticker.

In a statement, the Maine ACLU says courts have historically upheld schools' authority to monitor what appears in school-sponsored publications, such as yearbooks, which could imply school backing.

But, it said, "when young people regularly hear hateful and xenophobic things from people in power, it sends the wrong message that this sort of behavior is okay."

Last week in Pennsylvania, a school district apologized after quotes from Hitler, communist leader Joseph Stalin and an Islamic State group leader were printed in a high school yearbook.