Yearbook drama towards the end of the school year is nothing new. On any given day upon the release of any given yearbook, one could have an issue with their placement of their photo, the people they want to sign it, and the senior quotes that other people chose to submit. But recently, some yearbook drama of a slightly different nature has been making headlines–a high school in New Jersey is receiving flack after after some yearbook photos were edited to erase Donald Trump’s name from their clothing or senior quote.
Upon receiving their yearbooks, two students–Grant Berardo and Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago, both juniors–at Wall Township High School in Wall, New Jersey found that their yearbook photos had been digitally altered to remove Donald Trump’s name and ubiquitous slogan, “Make America Great Again,” from their clothing. Another student, Montana Berardo, had a Donald Trump quote removed from her freshman class president photo. An unnanmed teacher for the high school, who also served as a yearbook adviser, has since been suspended.
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) June 10, 2017
“There is an opportunity to use this as a teaching moment for the kids, and for the teachers as well,” Joseph Berardo, Grant and Montana’s father, told CNN. “This is a First Amendment, freedom of speech issue.”
Obviously, I don’t like Donald Trump–and most of his fanboys–very much. In fact, I would say that it is both tempting and easy, at this point, to begin to imagine Donald Trump as something like one of the grownups from the Charlie Brown, which is to say that he is not an adult at all, but rather a faceless cipher with legs and a small pair of hands and an inability to say anything other than “Wah wah wah wah.” This is (maybe?) what the yearbook adviser in question was trying to do by removing the Trump slogans from the yearbook. But, as far as resistance techniques go, this is a pretty shoddy one. Erasing small traces of him won’t make him disappear–in fact, in this case, it only brought him more publicity.
Anyway. I don’t think that this whole situation is, in fact, all that deep–a teacher at a high school is probably going to lose their job for taking liberties with students’ images in the school yearbook, as they should–but it can serve as a good reminder that pretending that something doesn’t exist doesn’t actually make it go away. Wanna change something? You have to actually acknowledge it. Sorry.
What do you think of this school’s yearbook editing decision? Let us know in the comments!