Wall Township, a high school in New Jersey, is under fire because someone photoshopped Donald Trump slogans out of students’ shirts. See the before and after photo comparison above.
According to NJ.com, Grant Berardo “wore his navy blue ‘TRUMP Make America Great Again’ T-shirt to picture day last fall at Wall Township High School.”
One mother took to Instagram to complain. “I am not happy that my son’s school took it upon themselves to edit his yearbook picture,” Berardo’s mother wrote on Instagram, posting the side-by-side comparison. She tagged Fox News, Donald Trump and used hashtags #freedomofspeech, #firstamendment, #thisisamerica, #proudamerican.
Berardo’s father told CNN it was the first election his son was interested in. “I want the yearbooks to be reissued and I want a letter from the administration explaining why they are reissuing the yearbook,” Joseph Berardo told CNN.
The parents were upset because the Trump slogan was removed from their son’s T-shirt in the photo that ran in the New Jersey high school’s yearbook. “Then the yearbook came out on Wednesday and Grant’s navy Trump shirt was now blacked-out,” NJ.com reported, adding that other students’ T-shirts bore everything from Alice Cooper to Super Mario and weren’t changed.
Gerardo wasn’t alone. Other students’ Trump references were also censored. “A junior classmate’s Trump shirt was also blacked out, and the sister of that boy, the freshman class president, noticed that the Trump quote she had selected to appear under her picture was gone,” reported NJ.com.
Here’s a better look at that photo:
Here’s how Gerardo’s shirt looked before:
According to ABC7, Junior Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago was the student whose Trump slogan was removed from a sweater vest in the yearbook photo. At first, he wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“Maybe they just cropped it out and it wasn’t something I should worry about, they just did it,” Wyatt told ABC 7.
However, his sister, Montana, the freshman class president, noticed that her Donald Trump quote for the yearbook didn’t run, the television station reported.
“I like thinking big, if you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. By Donald Trump,” Montana’s quote had read, according to ABC7.
Some people expressed anger on Twitter.
Wall Township Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Dyer told parents in a letter, according to CNN: “There is nothing in our student dress code that would prevent a student from expressing his or her political views and support for a candidate for political office via appropriate clothing. Rather, I applaud students for becoming involved in politics and for participation in our democratic society. The high school administration was not aware of and does not condone any censorship of political views on the part of our students. This includes statements that they might make or clothing with references to candidates for public office that they might wear.”
She released another statement that read that the district administrators “strongly value the principles of free speech and inquiry in our schools and society, viewing them as the bedrock upon which our community and educational system is built. The allegations referenced above are disturbing, and any inappropriate challenge to these principles will be rectified as swiftly and thoroughly as possible. The actions of the staff involved will be addressed as soon as the investigation is concluded.”
It’s not the first time that a high school yearbook has caused Trump-related controversy. In Minnesota, a student was accused of saying she “would like to behead” Trump in the yearbook.