It has come to this. A New Jersey high school student was surprised last week when he learned that his yearbook photo had been airbrushed to remove the Trump campaign logo from his T-shirt.
Grant Berardo broke none of Wall Township High School’s rules regarding depictions of drugs, alcohol or weapons in yearbook photos, The Washington Post noted.
His shirt merely read “TRUMP Make America Great Again!”
Between having his photo taken and the yearbook being published, someone involved in the process deemed his shirt offensive enough that they thought it appropriate to airbrush his photo to remove all references to the Republican president.
“At least two other students at the school had similar experiences: A Trump logo was apparently edited out of junior Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago’s photo, and his sister, Montana, was missing a Trump quote that was meant to appear beneath her photo,” the Post reported.
The Trump quote that was reportedly removed was: “I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.”
It’s unclear who is behind the alleged censorship. No one has claimed responsibility. The local superintendent, for her part, voiced displeasure with the reported edits.
“We are all equally outraged,” Wall Township public school superintendent Cheryl Dyer said in a statement, adding that the district is now investigating, “an allegation of censorship and the possible violation of First Amendment rights.”
She added, “Two parents have notified the school district of ways in which the attire of their children was altered in yearbook photos. Further, there are claims that comments or quotes offered for inclusion in the yearbook were not published. References to and support of President Trump were involved in each of these incidents.”
It’s no secret that some people dislike the president. Fair enough! He’s an extremely polarizing figure. But to go so far as to try to airbrush all mentions of him from a high school yearbook? That’s positively Soviet-esque.
Speaking of which:
Newsrooms are filled these days with seemingly endless commentary and reports sounding the alarm on Russia’s reported interference in the 2016 presidential election. Since Nov. 8, there has been no shortage of headlines speculating about Trump’s supposed ties to the Russians.
If the stories are true, it’s all terrible, especially as it appears Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long-term goal here is to return his country to its former Soviet glory days.
In the meantime, though, as federal investigators get to the bottom of the question of Russian influence in the 2016 election, it would be nice if anti-Trump critics, many of whom warn precisely about supposed neo-Soviet influences in the United States, didn’t themselves behave like the old Bolsheviks, who literally airbrushed supposed undesirables from history.
Let the kid wear his Trump shirt. Lose the censorship bit.