LITTLESTOWN, Pa. — A case of censorship at a Pennsylvania high school is sparking controversy after “Make America Great Again” hats that two students were wearing were 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 he and his friend decided to show their support for the president during Littlestown High School’s spirit week 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,”Gebhart said.
“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.”
“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,” Jermey Gebhart said.
Gebhart says she is disappointed in the school’s decision to blur the hats.
“It’s very upsetting,” Lorraine Gebhart said. “Someone used this on purpose to blur out that Trump logo and make their own statement.”
“The mistake was not noticed during the editorial preview process prior to print,” superintendent Christopher Bigger said in a statement. “We apologize on behalf of the yearbook club. It is not the policy or practice of the district to improperly censor speech.”
“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,” he said.
School officials say an investigation is underway.