A Pennsylvania school is investigating complaints from two students whose Make America Great Again hats were blurred out in yearbook photos.
Jeremy Gebhart told WPMT he supports the president and wore a MAGA hat to Littlestown High School’s spirit week in October, when he was photographed alongside a friend, also with a Trump cap.
But when the two recently received their yearbooks, they noticed the picture made it in the annual, but their support for the president did not.
“We were like, they blurred our hats out!” said Gebhart, 16.
“I just think whoever did this doesn’t like Trump,” he said.
Gebhart’s mother, Lorraine Gebhart, was not impressed.
“I was infuriated because he wears that hat because he supports our president,” she said. “He’s not doing anything illegal. He’s wearing a hat of support.”
“It’s very upsetting,” Lorraine Gebhart said. “Someone used this on purpose to blur out that Trump logo and make their own statement.”
The Gebharts contend the censorship is a clear violation of the teens’ constitutional rights, and they’re disappointed students and staff who put the yearbook together don’t understand that.
“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,” Gebhart said.
“It’s OK to disagree with peoples’ views,” he said, “but what’s not OK is taking your freedom of speech and using it to take away someone else’s.”
Christopher Bigger, superintendent of the Littlestown Area School District, issued a public statement about the censorship and said the district has launched an investigation into the incident.
“The mistake was not noticed during the editorial preview process prior to print,” the statement read. “We apologize on behalf of the yearbook club. It is not the policy or practice of the district to improperly censor speech.”
It’s unclear what, if anything, district officials plan to do with those responsible for the politically biased editing, but Gebhart said the experience only strengthened his support for the president.
“You did not silence us,” he said.
Gebhart is far from the first student to be mistreated for openly supporting President Trump. Dozens of students in numerous schools across the country have been harassed by students and staff for backing The Donald, from students attacked by classmates to those targeted by administrators, EAGnews reports.
In February, one outspoken Trump supporting student in California, Maddie Mueller, even sued her school over a dress code prohibiting logos that officials at Clovis North High School are using to effectively ban MAGA hats.
“To my knowledge, Trump is not a logo. It’s a last name. It’s just our president, you can’t claim the president is a logo, sports team, or affiliated with any gang,” Mueller told Your Central Valley. “How is being a patriot and trying to show pride in your country – how is that inappropriate?”