Wall suspends adviser after ‘Trump’ edited out of yearbook pictures
WALL TOWNSHIP —The adviser to a Jersey Shore high school yearbook where references to Donald Trump were edited out has been suspended.
"Our investigation continues and that she was suspended pending the results of the investigation," Wall Township school district superintendent Cheryl Dyer wrote in a statement to New Jersey 101.5 on Monday. She had no additional comment.
Susans Parsons is listed on the school's website and her personal Linkedin page as the adviser of the yearbook and a teacher in the district for 15 years. Her page also said she is owner of the private swim club Shore 2 Swim in Wall.
Grant Berardo, a junior, has told NJ.com that the T-shirt he wore, which read “Trump: Make America Great Again,” was edited out of the book, though the slogan still appears on proofs his family received. Freshman class president Montana Fago said her quote from the president was edited out while a “Trump” logo was removed from her brother Wyatt’s shirt.
Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago, a junior, appeared on Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends on Monday morning before heading back to school to take a final exam.
"I guess someone just didn't like our president and wanted to not have him in the yearbook," he said. "But that's taking away mine, Grant's and my sister's freedom of speech and freedom of expression."
Grant Berardo's father, Joe, told New Jersey 101.5's Bill Spadea Monday morning he wasn't satisfied with an apology from the school. He said he wanted the yearbooks reissued with unedited photos, and with the quote included.
"It's a teaching moment for the kids — it's a constitutional violation. And it's a teaching moment for the teachers," he said.
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The yearbook edit has prompted reaction from all sides of the political spectrum across the country and in Monmouth County. Former governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin posted to Twitter a story about the president's campaign slogan, "Making America Great Again" being edited off of junior Brian Berardo's T-shirt.
A meeting between Brian's parents and Grant's father was scheduled for Monday.
Wall superintendent Cheryl Dyer said in a statement there is no dress code for yearbook photos and no ban on political statements.
Reaction on Facebook to New Jersey 101's earlier story on the incident ran the gamut (minor edits have been made for punctuation and spelling).
- "Make them reprint the yearbook. My kids school had 'black lives matter' (in their yearbook) and nothing was done, so why is Trump worse then BLM?" RIchard A. Bell wrote
- "A bunch of butt hurt snowflakes. Sue sue sue. That's all you (people) know," Marion Lynn wrote.
- "Sadly, I agree with the edit — yearbooks should be politically neutral and not support ANY candidate," Mike Duffy wrote.
- Alex Cortez compared the incident to one in Morristown, where a high school student's satirical drawing of Trump was taken down at a high school art show. "I wonder what the Trump 'fans' will have to say ... if they are going to go apes**t about the yearbook edits, then they should also voice their support for having this artwork put back up!"
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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