A school in New Jersey is being accused of censoring students in the annual yearbook after one student noticed someone had edited his class photo to remove the Trump logo on his t-shirt.
Grant Berardo wore a shirt that said TRUMP: Make America Great Again for school picture day in the fall of 2016. His photo in the school’s electronic ID system and the proofs he was presented with feature his shirt as-is, but when he received his yearbook, the logo had been removed.
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Berardo’s father said it’s an issue of political correctness:
Joe Berardo, the boy’s father, was just as unhappy about the incident as his son.
“I don’t like the way we have to tip-toe around political correctness,” he said. “It gets in the way of meaningful discourse. And, frankly, I hate being on the other side of it now.”
Other students have since come forward with similar complaints.
The same thing happened to a fellow junior classmate. In addition, that classmate’s sister, the freshman class president, wanted to show her support in a different way — by including a Trump quote beneath her name in the yearbook.
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The quote was not included in the book, and her family thought it must’ve been a mistake.
“We’re very angry,” said Janet Dobrovich-Fago, the mother of the other two students. “When we saw that Montana’s (her daughter’s) quote dropped out, we thought it was a mistake because all the other class presidents’ quotes were still there. But when we saw that Wyatt’s (her son’s) shirt was Photoshopped and we heard about Grant, I knew this was not a coincidence. This was purposeful and it’s wrong.”
The school claims it did not administer the changes and is conducting a investigation:
Superintendent Cheryl Dyer claims it wasn’t the school that made the changes.
The administration is “investigating an allegation of censorship and the possible violation of First Amendment rights in the high school yearbook this year, she wrote in a letter to parents.
“Two parents have made me aware … the attire of their children was altered and that comments or quotes were not published. In all of the instances that I am aware of, references to and support of President Trump were removed.”