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Wall student’s dad tells Trev: ‘The lesson here is…you can’t censor people’

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A mistake was made, the school has addressed it, and Dad is happy. That’s what I got out of my conversation with Joe Berardo. His who son Grant wore a “Trump Make America Great Again” T-shirt for his Wall Township High School yearbook only to have it blacked out when it was published.

This happened despite the fact that the picture is also on his school ID so “he’s wearing it everyday around his neck” every day. Here’s where we are now, after Grant’s father met with the administration.

“I think where we’re at is poor judgement,” Berardo said. “I was satisfied with the approach that this was in fact a serious issue. They did suspend the teacher yearbook advisor…pending an investigation.” Berardo showed compassion for the teacher.

“I’m sure she’s not feeling great right now,” he said when he called the show. He has not spoken to her directly, but would be happy to.

“Quite frankly I don’t want the woman to lose her career. I don’t think that’s the answer,” Berardo said.

Berardo has also changed his stance on republishing the yearbook.

“I was kind of hellbent on brand new yearbooks for everybody, but stepping back, what I don’t want to do is spend a lot of money on something that’s going to hurt another program,” he told me.

There are a few things Berardo does want out of this, though.

“Let’s focus on the lesson, the lesson here is you can’t censor people, this is not something we do in this country,” he said. Secondly, wants to “find a way to do it so that we can get it across to the community.”

How’s Grant dealing with all this?

“He said to me today, ‘dad you know I was struggling with a topic for my college essay as I finish my applications here, now I’ve got a lot of material,'” Berardo said.

Hearing from President Trump himself would make for a great essay.

“I don’t know, but we’re really trying to make sure this is about the issue and not the candidate or the man,” Joe Berardo said. “It’s in the bell curve, we’ve all seen him tweet but either way, it’s really about the issue.”

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Steve Trevelise is on the air from Monday-Thursday, 7 to 11 p.m. Tweet him @realstevetrev or @nj1015.

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