Two students at a public high school in Littlestown, Pennsylvania were outraged after discovering in their yearbook that someone blurred out their “Trump: Make America Great Again” hats in a photo taken during the school's spirit week in October, the Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday.
Littlestown School District Superintendent Christopher Bigger apologized for the incident, telling Fox43 that "The mistake was not noticed during the editorial preview process prior to print. ... It is not the policy or practice of the district to improperly censor speech."
He added that “we are working with young adults who are practicing to become citizens… We must find a way to have civil discourse around emotionally charged issues with students where the facts are understood and the opportunity to learn is available."
Bigger emphasized that "It’s ok to disagree with people's views, but what’s not ok is taking your freedom of speech and using it to take away someone else’s."
Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Gebhart, one of the students who had his hat censored, said “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."
His mother, Lorraine Gebhart, said she “was infuriated because he wears that hat because he supports our president. He’s not doing anything illegal, he’s wearing a hat of support.”
Littlestown is in one of the most conservative areas of Pennsylvania, Adams County, where more than 65 percent voted for Trump in 2016, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had the support of less than 30 percent.
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