LITTLESTOWN, ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. – A case of censorship at a Pennsylvania high school is sparking controversy after “Make America Great Again” hats two students were wearing are blurred out from the yearbook.
One of the students in the picture says the move violates his First Amendment rights.
“I just think that whoever did this doesn’t like Trump,”16-year-old Jeremy Gebhart told WPMT.
Gebhart says that he and his friend decided to show their support for the president during Littlestown High School’s spirit week back in October.
The photo landed a spot in the yearbook – with some changes.
The hats embroidered with words reading “Trump: Make America Great Again” were Photoshopped out.
“We were like they blurred our hats out!”said Gebhart.
“I was infuriated because he wears that hat because he supports our president,” Said Lorriane Gebhart, Jermey’s mother. “He’s not doing anything illegal he’s wearing a hat of support,” he added.
“Everybody has First Amendment rights, freedom of speech and they are allowed to think what they want and say what they want but they aren’t allowed to take that away from other people,” said Jermey Gebhart.
Gebhart says she is disappointed in the school’s decision to blur the hats.
“It’s very upsetting,” said Lorraine Gebhart. “Someone used this on purpose to blur out that Trump logo and make their own statement,” she added.
In a statement provided to WPMT the superintendent wrote in part:
“The mistake was not noticed during the editorial preview process prior to print. We apologize on behalf of the yearbook club. it is not the policy or practice of the district to improperly censor speech.” – Mr. Christopher E. Bigger, Superintendent of Schools
“It’s OK to disagree with peoples’ views, but what’s not OK is taking your freedom of speech and using it to take away someone else’s,” said Gebhart.
The Gebharts say they have a message for whoever was behind the decision.
“You did not silence us.”
School officials say an investigation is underway.