A New Jersey high school teacher and yearbook advisor has been suspended for allegedly photoshopping students' supportive references to President Trump out of the yearbook.
On Monday, Wall Township Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Dyer said that the unnamed teacher would be suspended "pending further action" from the school's board. The decision comes after a statement posted online this weekend, in which the superintendent said she was "pursuing a thorough investigation "an allegation of censorship and the possible violation of First Amendment rights in the high school yearbook this year."
Wall Township, NJ High School edits out student's Trump shirt from yearbook photo without permission. 🚫 pic.twitter.com/CgHFKnofAW
— Scott ☠️ (@KOB35M) June 12, 2017
According to the Asbury Park Press, three separate students have alleged Trump-related censorship: Grant Berardo, a junior at the school, says that his black t-shirt was digitally altered to remove a "Make America Great Again" slogan; Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago says the same logo was removed from his sweater vest; and Wyatt's sister, freshman Montana Dobrovich-Fago, says that her selected quote did not appear under her photo, as it did for everyone else.
That quote—"I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big"— comes from Donald Trump's book The Art of the Deal.
"I want to know who thought it was okay to do this," the siblings' mother told CNN. "I want the school to seek disciplinary action and to be held accountable."
While the accused teacher's name has not yet been released, the Asbury Park Press says that Susan Parsons, a teacher in the district for 15 years, is listed as the yearbook club's advisor. Reached for comment, the teacher told the NY Post, "We have never made any action against any political party," She would not comment on whether she knew who was responsible for the alterations.
"From my perspective, I don't understand the censorship," Grant's father Joseph Berardo said. "I think it was probably politically motivated. It was inherently offensive to somebody and they made a decision to Photoshop it—and without discussion, which is the worst part."