Teacher suspended after pro-Trump slogans removed from students' yearbook photos

'This allegation is being taken very seriously and a thorough investigation of what happened is being vigorously pursued'

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The Independent US

A teacher has been suspended following accusations that they digitally removed references to Donald Trump in their school's yearbook photos. 

Wall Township High School in New Jersey is investigating the alleged censorship, which the superintendent of schools said represents a "possible violation of First Amendment rights."  

"This allegation is being taken very seriously and a thorough investigation of what happened is being vigorously pursued," the superintendent, Cheryl Dyer, said in a statement

Student Grant Berardo said he had decided to wear a “TRUMP: Make America Great Again’ T-shirt for his yearbook photo, only to find it had been removed when the yearbook.   

"He was disappointed," his father told CNN. "This was the first election he was interested in."

A Donald Trump logo was removed from Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago’s vest, and a quote from the US president was also removed from his sister Montana’s class president photo.

She had submitted the following: "I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big."

The teacher, who has not been named, has been suspended without pay, Ms Dyer said. 

She added: "There is nothing in our student dress code that would prevent a student from expressing his or her political views and support for a candidate for political office via appropriate clothing. Rather, I applaud students for becoming involved in politics and for participation in our democratic society."

"The high school administration was not aware of and does not condone any censorship of political views on the part of our students. This includes statements that they might make or clothing with references to candidates for public office that they might wear."

The school dress code prohibits references to illegal activity such as the use of drugs, alcohol or weapons. There is no such prohibition related to political statements however. 

"Allegations referenced above are disturbing, and any inappropriate challenge to these principles will be rectified as swiftly and thoroughly as possible. The actions of the staff involved will be addressed as soon as the investigation is concluded."