Wall High School to re-issue yearbook after ‘Trump’ censored from first one
WALL — Wall School District Superintendent Cheryl Dyer has decided to reissue the high school yearbook because of what she has determined was the intentional removal of a student's Donald Trump T-shirt.
"I cannot allow the intentional change that was not based on dress code to be ignored. I am the Chief School Administrator in this district and I take responsibility for the actions of those who are employed here. Therefore, I have determined that a re‐issuance of the yearbook is necessary," Dyer wrote in a statement.
The decision comes a week after junior Grant Berardo discovered the "Make America Great Again" T-shirt he wore for his yearbook photo had been edited, and he appeared to be wearing just a navy blue shirt. Dyer said she does not know why it happened but said that is the real issue. "There are different types of mistakes that people make in life. That includes adults as well as students. Some mistakes are unintentional. Mistakes can be made due to carelessness or lack of attention to detail or lack of sufficient proofreading.
Yearbook advisor Susan Parsons was suspended with pay pending the result of the investigation. Dyer would not disclose Parson's current status with the district.
Dyer said the Trump logo deleted from Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago’s vest was because of a resizing edit and not intentional. The quote sent by his sister, freshman class president Montana, was submitted on time but Dyer said she has not determined why it was not included.
"I sincerely apologize for the mistakes that were made (intentional and unintentional) and I assure you that I will be insisting that checks and balances be implemented to ensure that intentional alterations that are not consistent with district policy do not continue and unintentional mistakes from carelessness, lack of attention to detail, or lack of sufficient proofreading are minimized," Dyer wrote.
Dyer told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that the district is working with the book's publisher to agree on an affordable price for the reprinted edition. "I will make a recommendation to the board of education on any budget adjustments that might be necessary to cover the cost. Students and parents will not be asked for any money toward the cost," Dyer wrote. She said some families have "graciously" declined a revised copy.
Joseph Berardo, who initially wanted the yearbook reissued, told New Jersey 101.5's Steve Trevelise later that "I don’t want to do is spend a lot of money on something that’s going to hurt another program."
He was happy with the superintendents decision especially since the book's publisher, Josten's, will help defray some of the costs. "The superintendent and the administration managed a difficult situation in a very professional way with an appropriate resolution," Berardo told New Jersey 101.5.
Berardo said his son is pleased with the outcome which will leave his with two year books. "He just wanted it to be fair. He's not a loud kid, he's not someone who protests. Tis was his way of communicating his views and I'm glad it was corrected. It was a good lesson for everyone," Berardo said.
The senior who shared his yearbook with New Jersey 101.5 also agrees with Dyer's decision and called it a "smart idea."
She also pointed out several other non-Trump issues in the yearbook, including a junior's photo that was left out, pictures left out, and a case where the incorrect photo of a senior was used. The sophomore class president and officers will also be included in the revised edition.
Dyer said she will not be able to have the pictures of a Bermuda trip fixed. T-shirts were edited onto several students both male and female. "I do not know if this was an oversight, carelessness, or intentional." she wrote.
The new yearbooks will be available within the next two weeks. Those who purchased the yearbook will be able to receive a new one.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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