A high school teacher at New Jersey’s Wall Township High School was suspended after allegedly censoring photos promoting President Donald Trump in the school’s official yearbooks.
According to the Asbury Park Press, Wall Township Public School Superintendent, Cheryl Dyer said on Monday that the teacher in charge of the Yearbook Club has been suspended for alleged anti-Trump censorship.
Dyer didn’t reveal the kind of disciplinary action that could be seen by the teacher, but only that the status is “pending further disciplinary action.”
The high school website listed Susan Parson, who has worked in the district for 15 years, as the Yearbook Club’s adviser. She appears to have the skills necessary to censor the photographs as she lists “photo editing” as one of the skills that students learn from her by working on the yearbooks.
Parson told the New York Post during a call, after scheduling a sit down with her, the superintendent, and the NYP, that:
“We have never made any action against any political party.”
When asked if she knew who altered the photo, she simply said:
“I’m going to hang up now.”
Presumably, she either doesn’t know, or she’s choosing to remain silent until the sit down interview they scheduled.
Student And Parents React
The suspension came after some students reported that the pro-Trump logo on their clothing was removed, although it is unclear exactly who removed it – the photographers, yearbook printers, or school officials.
A junior, Grant Berardo told Asbury Park Press that a campaign slogan reading “Trump: Make America Great Again,” was digitally removed from the shirt he wore in his class portrait.
He told the press:
“It was Photoshopped … I sent it to my mom and dad, just like, ‘You won’t believe this.’ I was just overall disappointed.”
Berardo’s father, Joe Berardo Jr., who is the CEO of health services company Concordia Care, sees the censorship a violation of freedom of speech. He threatened legal action against the school unless corrected yearbooks are issued along with a letter in each one explaining why.
Another junior, Wyatt Debrovich-Fago, had his photo cropped so that the Trump campaign logo on his sweater vest wasn’t visible, according to CNN.
The report also notes that Wyatt’s sister, Montana, was left without an accompanying quote for her class president photo.
Presumably because Trump said it. Her picture was the only one without a quote.
Parent Janet Dobrovich-Fago, told CNN:
“I want the school to seek disciplinary action and to be held accountable.”
School Officials Respond
In his statement as reported by the Asbury Park Press, the Wall Township school board President Allison Connolly said the board:
“Found the allegations of wrongdoing disturbing and take the charge that students have had their free speech rights infringed upon very seriously.”
Dyer said the high school administration does not condone students’ political views in a letter sent to parents notifying them of the issue, noting that it is being investigated fully.
Watch this video for more information about the issue:
Featured Image: Screenshot Via CNN Video.