WALL, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey school district is investigating why the yearbook photos of two high school students were altered to remove President Donald Trump’s name on clothing they wore.
The Wall Township district also is probing why a Trump quote submitted by the freshman class president wasn’t included under her photo while a quote by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appeared under the senior class president’s photo.
One student wore a sweater vest with Trump’s name on it; another student wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Trump Make America Great Again.” But neither feature appeared in the photos published in the yearbook.
District Superintendent Cheryl Dyer told the Asbury Park Press that she was “quite disturbed by the entire situation,” noting that the school’s dress code doesn’t prevent students from expressing their political views. It wasn’t clear who altered the yearbook photos or why. The district hires a company to take the photos and print the yearbooks.
Grant Berardo said he was shocked when he saw the yearbook photo of him in the T-shirt, minus the Trump reference.
“I sent it to my mom and dad, just like ‘You won’t believe this.’ I was just overall disappointed,” he told the newspaper. “I like Trump but it’s history, too. Wearing that shirt memorializes the time.”
Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago was surprised but not initially concerned when he saw Trump’s name wasn’t on the sweater vest he wore for his photo.
“(I thought) maybe they just cropped it out, and it wasn’t something I should worry about, they just did it,” he told WABC-TV in New York.
Then his sister, Montana, noticed the Trump quote she had submitted to run with her class president photo had not been published, even though she had met the deadline to submit it.
“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. By Donald Trump,” Montana said, recounting the quote.
Her brother then started questioning what had happened.
“I’m like, well, that’s kind of crazy, two things against Trump in a way,” Wyatt said.
Berardo’s father wants the school district to republish the yearbooks at the district’s expense with the unaltered photos.